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What Is a Lumbar Interlaminar Epidural?
A lumbar interlaminar epidural is an injection of steroids to the epidural space, which sits inside the spinal canal but outside the area with the spinal fluid. This space runs from the bottom of your spine to the base of your skull.
How does the process work? There are five main steps:
- The doctor will have you lay on your stomach on top of two pillows.
- They will clean and numb the injection site.
- The doctor uses an X-ray to determine the correct path for the thin needle.
- They insert a syringe and inject a bit of dye so they can see where the medication will go.
- They inject the steroid next.
The injection requires about 15 minutes of recovery before you can get up. All told, the process will run up to an hour and a half. You should have a driver available to take you home after.
Who Does a Lumbar Interlaminar Epidural Steroid Injection Help?
Anyone who has chronic lower back pain may be a candidate for a lumbar interlaminar epidural. The treatment offers a short-term solution to discomfort, though it generally must be repeated up to four times per year for longer-term pain management.
How Do Lumbar Interlaminar Epidural Injections Work?
Steroids have anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the inflammation in your spine, decreasing the pain and pressure you feel in your back. They can also address compressed spinal nerves. You will begin to feel your pack pain lessen within 48 hours to two weeks of receiving the injection.
What Is Recovery Like?
Following your injection, you will receive instructions on how to recover. We recommend minimal activity for the rest of the day. You can resume regular daily activities the following day or when you feel up to it. Watch for post-injection symptoms, such as:
- A fever above 100 degrees Fahrenheit
- Draining or swelling at the site of the injection
- Pain that increases as the days go on
What Are the Lumbar Interlaminar Epidural Steroid Injection Side Effects?
Any medical treatment will have side effects. Those from a lumbar interlaminar epidural tend to be minimal and may include:
- Low-grade fever
- Retaining fluids
You may also experience a bit of soreness at the injection site, which you can address with ice packs. Writing down your side effects can help you provide a complete record to our doctor upon a follow-up call or visit.
Are you experiencing lower back pain? If you’ve tried other treatments but haven’t received any relief, a lumbar interlaminar epidural may provide a needed answer. The physicians at Spine Institute of North America can assist you with this. We offer patients like you the least-invasive spinal procedures to treat their pain. Contact us today for more information or to set up an appointment.
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