Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection

The Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection procedure is performed to help relieve lower back pain and additional pain that might be impacting the legs. In this procedure, a steroid medication is used to help reduce inflammation and swelling caused by spinal conditions. This helps to regulate and manage chronic pain in the spinal nerves in the lower part of your back which can further impact your legs. 

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Why It’s Done


The Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection procedure relieves lower back pain and leg pain you may be afflicted with by using a steroid medication to reduce inflammation and swelling caused by spine related issues. This procedure can help you manage the pain associated with lower back and leg pain stemming from your spine.

While lumbar epidural steroid injections are effective, they often provide temporary pain relief and may need multiple procedures to see lasting effectiveness. Some of the common issues this procedure addresses in the lower back and legs include pain, numbness, muscle weakness, and tingling. Some common conditions that might require the intervention of lumbar epidural steroid injection include having a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, low back pain, and neurogenic claudication.

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What To Expect?

During Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections


  1. The patient lies face down. A cushion under the stomach area provides comfort and flexes the back in this position. The spine opens and allows for easier access to the epidural space.
  2. A local anesthetic is used to numb the skin. All the tissue down to the surface of the lamina portion of the lumbar vertebra is anesthetized.
  3. The physician slides a thicker needle through the anesthetized track. Using a fluoroscope for guidance, the physician slides the needle toward the epidural space between the L4 and L5 vertebra.
  4. A contrast solution is injected. The physician uses the Fluoroscope to confirm the correct location of the needle tip.
  5. A steroid anesthetic mixed is injected into the epidural space, bathing the painful nerve with soothing medication.

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After Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections


  1. The needle is removed and a small bandage is applied to cover the tiny needle surface.
  2. In some cases it may be necessary to repeat the procedure as many as three times to get the full benefit of the medication.
  3. Patients can get significant pain reduction from only one or two injections.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Interventional Pain Management?

Interventional Pain Management is a subspecialty that helps diagnose and treat pain related disorders by using various interventions (or injections/procedures). Interventional pain management is a way to help treat chronic and acute pain, manage various pain conditions either before or after surgery, and thus to minimize the use of prescription medications.

This can be done independently as a stand-alone treatment but can often be done in addition to physical therapy, acupuncture, massage, chiropractic (when appropriate) as well as counseling. 

Interventional techniques are minimally-invasive procedures that can include epidurals or other injections to put steroids or other medications in to a targeted area (usually part of your spine or various joints). Another approach is using needles to destroy the specific nerves that are the source of your pain. There are a few surgical techniques that can be completed as well which can include intrathecal infusion pumps for palliative pain conditions, spinal cord stimulators for intractable pain, dorsal root stimulators, basivertebral nerve ablations and decompression of the spine.  We also use Botox® for migraines and dystonia. 

What is the difference between pain management and interventional pain management?

Interventional pain management physicians use minimally invasive medical procedures to interrupt or slow the nervous system’s transmission of the pain signals from the nerve endings to the brain. In the case of chronic or severe pain, interventional pain management seeks to disrupt the pain cycle. 

Pain management can include various forms of therapies as well as medications. Medications can include non-controlled substances and in some cases do require the use of controlled substances for calming pain conditions. 

Where can patients have their Pain Management procedures done?

We have an in-office procedure suite with fluoroscopy (live x-ray) at our Reno location, or procedures can be done at an outpatient hospital or surgery center. Your insurance may impact where you can go for your procedure. Sierra Neurosurgery Group is happy to discuss your options when your appointment is being scheduled.

Can patients have sedation for Pain Management procedures?

Most procedures can be completed without the need for sedation. However for some patients sedation can help them relax and make the procedure more comfortable. If your procedure is completed in the office we can provide some oral sedation, however, if full sedation is requested then we perform your treatment at an outpatient hospital/surgery center.

How do I make an appointment with Sierra Neurosurgery Group?

Call us today at (775) 323-2080 or toll free (888) 323-2080.  We have 5 locations to serve you: Carson City, Elko, Fallon, Reno and Sparks.  If your health insurance plan requires a referral, contact your primary care or emergency room physician and request a referral to Sierra Neurosurgery Group.

Do you offer X-rays and MRI’s?
Sierra Neurosurgery offers comprehensive imaging services at our Reno office on Kietzke Lane, including X-Ray services and MRI scans with & without contrast.  This provides a quick, easy and no-hassle way to complete necessary imaging as part of your treatment plan.

What to Expect From Your Visit

Sierra Neurosurgery Group is focused on providing the highest quality surgeries with the best possible patient care. We focus on creating a unique experience for each of our patients to show them we understand their current situation and to do our best to help them get back to living the life they want. We provide the best care to our patients because we have assembled a team of professionals with extensive surgical experience consisting of neurosurgeons, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and interventional pain specialists. Our personnel, focus on patients, and quality of care allows Sierra Neurosurgery Group to be highly effective in creating the best results and outcomes for our patients.