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Lumbar Interlaminar Epidurals (Back Injection)

What is a lumbar interlaminar epidural injection?

This procedure is used to treat irritated or pinched nerves in the back. There are nerves in the back called spinal nerves that can become inflamed or irritated. Some of the most common causes of inflamed spinal nerves are bony spurs and herniated discs that could be pressing on them. This irritation can cause pain to travel from the spinal nerves down the leg and even to the foot. A lumbar interlaminar epidural injection can be an effective way of reducing the inflammation around the spinal nerve and relieving pain that could be radiating down the leg. 

Who is a candidate for lumbar interlaminar epidural injections?

Those that could benefit from lumbar interlaminar injections have symptoms that include:

  • Back pain with associated numbness and tingling going down one or both legs

  • Weakness in one or both legs

  • Shooting pain down one or both legs extending below the knees

  • Improvement of pain when pushing and leaning against a shopping cart while in a store 

    • Common presentation which helps relieve pressure on the spinal nerves​

  • "Sharp", "burning" pain going down one or both legs

What conditions are these injections used for?

  • Failed back syndrome

  • Sciatica

  • Spinal stenosis

  • Herniated or bulging disc

  • Bony spurs or arthritis

  • Degenerative disc disease

What to expect during the procedure?

The problematic area in the low back is identified using an x-ray machine called a c-arm. This machine allows us to safely guide a thin needle to the suspected source of pain. When the needle reaches the right area, a mixture of numbing medicine and a powerful anti-inflammatory steroid is injected around the inflamed spinal nerve. The steroid then begins to reduce the amount of inflammation around the nerves, eventually resulting in decreased pain in the low back and pain radiating down the thigh, calf and/or foot. The entire procedure is relatively painless as the skin and tissue below are anesthetized before the procedure begins.

For more information or to discuss an appropriate treatment plan for your back pain with one of our specialized pain management physicians, call Saint Louis Spine and Joint Pain Specialists today.

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