Lumbar Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection

Lumbar Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection

For patients in Bethesda, Maryland struggling with conditions that cause back pain and low back pain, a lumbar transforaminal epidural steroid injection may be a good treatment option.

OrthoBethesda offers lumbar transforaminal epidural steroid injections to area patients as one of our many treatment options for herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, lumbar spinal stenosis and even synovial cysts. If you have these conditions or chronic low back pain that radiates from your back to your legs, schedule an appointment to meet with one of our skilled orthopedic physicians, who can assess your condition and develop a personalized treatment plan to address your painful symptoms.


What is a Lumbar Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection?

This injection involves medicating your spine with a long-acting steroid intended to reduce the inflammation and swelling of your spinal nerve roots and the surrounding tissue. The injection is made through an opening along the side of your spine, called a foramen, through which a nerve root exits.

After a lumbar transforaminal epidural steroid injection, many patients feel a reduction in pain, tingling, numbness and other symptoms caused by inflammation, swelling or irritation of the nerve roots. Your physician can also use the transforaminal injections as a diagnostic tool to identify which specific spinal root levels may be the source of your pain.

Your Lumbar Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection Procedure

If you and your OrthoBethesda physician decide that lumbar transforaminal epidural steroid injection is the right option for your condition, you can be sure that they’ll fully explain the procedure and answer any questions you have. It will take only five to 10 minutes to medicate your spine with a small mixture of saline, anesthetic and a long-acting steroid.

Your transforaminal epidural steroid will be injected by insertion of a needle through your skin and into deeper tissues. Though there is some pain involved, we numb the skin and tissue with a local anesthetic before the procedure begins. Some patients also opt for IV sedation, which helps them relax.

If you’re receiving the injection in your neck, you’ll likely need to lie on your side. For a back injection, your doctor will probably have you lie on your stomach. During the procedure, your EKG, blood pressure and oxygen will be closely monitored. The treatment itself is very straightforward:

  • The skin of your neck or back is cleaned with antiseptic and numbed.
  • Using X-ray guidance, the doctor positions the injection needle in the correct place. You may feel a strong pressure and pinching.
  • Once in place, the injection is made into the particular spinal nerve root.
  • The needle is then removed, and an adhesive bandage is all that’s needed to cover the insertion site.

After the Transforaminal Injection Treatment

After the procedure is complete, you may notice that your pain is either less prevalent or completely gone. These immediate results are due to the anesthetic and usually last for only a few hours. Your pain may return, along with some aching or soreness.

The steroid should start to work in about three to five days, with the effects lasting anywhere from several days to several months. If your initial lumbar transforaminal epidural steroid injection is unsuccessful, your physician may recommend a second injection. However, if that does not relieve your symptoms, a third injection is unlikely to help, and your OrthoBethesda physician may recommend a different treatment option.

Further Reading

Spine Surgery: When It Works and When It Doesn’t

10 Steps to Achieving Better Posture


Schedule an Appointment

Contact OrthoBethesda to Learn More About Lumbar Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection

OrthoBethesda welcomes patients throughout Bethesda, MD, and beyond to experience compassionate care for a variety of musculoskeletal issues, including severe back pain. When we meet with you, we can ensure that you receive the best treatment available, which may or may not include lumbar transforaminal epidural steroid injections. Contact us today to schedule your appointment by calling (301) 530-1010.