A review of the analgesic benefits and potential complications related to epidural corticosteroid injections

Brian T. Gegel, John P. Floyd, David W. Hart, W. Keith Barnhill, John P. Maye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The Institute of Medicine has reported that greater than 115 million adults in the United States are living with some form of chronic pain. Back pain is the most prevalent and is associated with high individual morbidity and increased healthcare costs. One approach for the management of chronic back pain involves the injection of corticosteroids in the epidural space. This interventional approach requires advanced training with techniques that vary according to the level of the vertebral column where the injection is to be performed. The primary rationale for epidural steroid injection is to reduce the inflammation surrounding the spinal nerve root as it exits the neuroforamen. Injections are performed at levels that correspond most appropriately with the patient’s clinical presentation, physical findings, and radiographic findings. Epidural steroid injections are considered safe and effective, and are supported by evidence for the treatment of radicular pain. Complications from epidural steroid injections are rare but can be catastrophic, including permanent disability and death. The focus of this article is to understand how technique and selection of specific corticosteroids used for epidural injection can manage chronic back and radicular pain effectively while minimizing risk that leads to unnecessary harm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-79
Number of pages9
JournalAANA Journal
Volume87
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Back pain
  • Corticosteroid
  • Epidural steroid injection
  • Pain management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medical–Surgical
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A review of the analgesic benefits and potential complications related to epidural corticosteroid injections'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this