Epidural Steroid Injection Procedure Information

Your doctor has recommended you for an epidural steroid injection (epidural block). The epidura (or epidural space) lies close to the spinal cord and is an area filled with fat cells and blood vessels. Its position close to the spinal cord makes it a convenient place to inject an anti-inflammatory medication, usually a steroid. Careful imaging of the epidura, through the use of X-ray fluoroscopy, makes the placement of the injection more accurate. Franklin Moser, MD, Director of Neuroradiology, heads our team of imaging physicians, nurses and technologists who specialize in these procedures.

Before Arriving for Your Procedure

  • You will not be allowed to drive after the procedure, so you should arrange for someone to help you get home.
  • We want to make your waiting time as pleasant as possible. Consider bringing your favorite magazine, book or music player to help you pass the time.
  • Please wear comfortable clothing and leave your valuables at home.

After Arriving

  • A physician specialist in interventional radiology will discuss your procedure with you and answer any questions you might have.
  • After this discussion, you will be asked to sign a consent form, giving us permission to perform the test.
  • You must tell the technologist, nurse, or physician of any allergies you may have, and whether you are or might be pregnant.

During Your Procedure

  • You will need to change into a hospital gown.
  • You will lay on your stomach on an X-ray table, and blood-pressure and blood-oxygen monitors might be placed on you.
  • Your back will be cleaned, and a local anesthetic will be used to numb an area of skin where the injection will take place.
  • A special dye will be injected into your back. This dye will make for better X-ray pictures.
  • A fluoroscope (a form of X-ray) will be taken. This will allow the imaging physician to see exactly where the injection needs to be placed.
  • With the needle properly situated, the physician will inject the anti-inflammatory medication.

After Your Procedure

  • You will be monitored for 15 to 20 minutes before you can go home.
  • You should not do any strenuous activity for 24 hours.
  • If the site of the injection is painful, you can treat it with ice or a pain medication as prescribed by your physician.
  • The injection might take a few hours or as long as seven to 10 days to start relieving your pain.

The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake, and West Hollywood.