What we do
Epidural Steriod and Selective Nerve Blocks
What is the purpose of an epidural or nerve block?
These injections are given for relief of low back or leg pain. The injections will help determine where your pain is originating from.
What is an epidural or nerve block injection?
An epidural injection widely distributes medication to multiple nerves in the lower spine. It is generally done when more than one nerve is affected. A selective nerve block delivers medication to only one nerve. This will help identify which nerve is specifically responsible for your sypmptoms.
Epidural and Nerve Block Procedure
These procedures take approximately 30 minutes. While lying on your stomach, the area around the lower back or tail bone will be cleansed with an antiseptic solution and a local anesthetic administered. For an epidural injection the radiologist, using fluoroscopy, will direct small needle into the epidural space (the space between the sac which contains the spinal cord and spinal fluid, and the vertebrae). A small amount of x-ray contrast will be injected to ensure proper placement of the needle. A steroid medication and a local anesthetic will then be injected.
A nerve block is very similar to an epidural injection but instead of the needle entering the epidural space it is placed next to a single nerve where it exits from the spinal canal. The remainder of the procedure is the same.
Does Health Care or Insurance cover this procedure?
Alberta Health Care will cover the cost involved with this procedure. The Workers Compensation Board will also cover this procedure if you have a claim number.
Are there risks?
Generally this procedure is safe; however with any procedure there are risks, side effects and the possibility of complications. You may feel some pressure or other mild discomfort during the injection. Occasionally you may experience local bruising. Rarely, the local anesthetic may spread to nearby nerves and cause temporary weakness and numbness. On rare occasions, a patient will have an adverse reaction to contrast material used.
If you feel you may be a candidate for this procedure, speak with your family physician about a referral or arrange for a consultation with an Evidence Sport and Spine physiotherapist at the Advanced Spinal Care Centre for an evaluation.