Commonly Asked Questions About Epidural-Type Steroid Injection
- Will it hurt?
Expect any procedure involving a needle to cause some discomfort. However, the medicines and techniques used make this injection very tolerable. Most patients report that the anticipation was worse than the injection.
- How long will it take before I know if this works?
Some patients feel immediate pain relief after an injection, but for most patients, it takes several days to actually feel improvement. It is not unusual for symptoms to increase at first, and it is possible that your body may take 7-10 days before realizing the maximum benefits from the injection.
- Will this injection take away all of my pain?
Most patients feel a significant reduction in their pain level, but the response of each patient varies, depending on the body response to the medicines used, the cause of the pain, and the longevity of the problem. The amount of pain relief varies from complete pain relief to no pain relief.
- How long will this “shot” last?
Again, this varies from patient to patient. For many patients, one injection is all that is needed, while others may need to schedule a repeat injection (through the physician directing your medical care) in order to achieve the desired pain relief.
- Will this cure my problem or is this just a “band-aid” to hide the problem?
This depends on what problem is causing your pain. The intended result of a steroid injection is to reduce your pain by reducing your inflammation. Often irritated, inflamed, swollen tissues put pressure on nerves, causing increased pain. This injection will not cure degenerative changes, but will hopefully resolve inflammatory issues that are occurring, resulting in a reduction (or elimination) of your pain.
- How much of my time will this injection appointment take?
We ask that you plan on approximately two hours from start to finish – this includes checking in 30 minutes prior, pre-procedure preparation, a 10-20 minute procedure, and then recovery.
- Can I drive myself?
NO. You must have someone bring you to your injection appointment and take you home after the injection, even if you do not have sedation. Due to the medicines used, your leg or arm may feel numb and/or shaky for a few hours after the injection.
- Can I return to work after the injection?
Typically, patients are off work the day of the injection and then return to pre-injection activities the next day. This may vary depending on the doctor that is directing your care.
- Will my activities be restricted?
In order to achieve maximum benefits, it is best to limit strenuous activities (heavy lifting, bending, pulling, pushing) the first few days after an injection. It is also important that you continue to move (e.g. walk) periodically after the injection to reduce stiffness and soreness. Please check with your doctor if you have specific activity questions.
- Do I need to fast prior to my injection?
Only if you are requesting sedation. Please clarify with the scheduler when making your injection appointment about taking your daily medications.
- Are there any side effects?
You may experience soreness at the injection site. This can be relieved by applying ice to the site for 10-15 minutes every hour. There are typically no side effects from the medications used during the injection. If you have any questions about symptoms that you are feeling after the injection, please call our office.
- How much will this injection cost?
The price of a steroid injection varies depending upon:
- The type of the injection
- If one or both sides are injected
- The number of levels to be injection
- The facility where the injection takes place
- Will my insurance cover this?
There are many different insurance policies. Our authorization coordinator will call your insurance company to verify your benefits and obtain a pre-authorization if required.
Three to five days after your injection:
Call to let us know how you are doing and to schedule a recheck appointment with your referring physician 2-3 weeks post-injection. Please call our office at 425–656–5060.
PLEASE CALL OUR OFFICE IF YOU HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS.
THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING US TO PARTICIPATE IN YOUR MEDICAL CARE.
VALLEY ORTHOPEDIC ASSOCIATES