What is a Caudal Epidural and what does it do?
June 8th, 2016 by LOC Team
What is a Caudal Epidural Steroid Injection?
A caudal epidural injection is a steroid injection into the bottom of the spine known as the epidural space. This steroid injection is an anti-inflammatory injection also known as, and referred to as, cortisone. This steroid should not be confused with anabolic steroids which are used to build muscle. This steroid injection can reduce pain and inflammation.
Why is the injection carried out?
Most commonly a caudal epidural injection is given to people who are experiencing pain in the bum, legs and back. Typical cause for this pain can be; arthritis, inflammation of the nerves or an injury. It can also be used when a patient is experiencing a persistent pain after spinal surgery. The injection can help to improve mobility, reduce pain, improve function and can also help facilitate physio.
The injections also allow the patient to take advantage of the pain free time and work on muscle strengthening exercises. This has been shown to be the very best way to ensure an improvement in the function of the area.
How is the injection done?
The injection will be administered to you on your side or your back, depending on what is most comfortable for you. The site of the injection will be cleaned with an antiseptic and then a local anaesthetic will be administered to numb the area. After this, a needle is inserted into the bottom end of your back, the doctor will confirm the position of the needle with the aid of an x-ray machine and then the injection will be delivered to the caudal epidural area.
What are the effects?
Firstly, it is important to understand that the pain relief may take a few days or even weeks to have an effect. Also, some patients do get more pain relief than others and some patients might not get any relief at all.
However, the injection may help relieve back, bum and leg pain. In some studies, the injection has also helped reduce the amount of pain killers that patients have needed to take in order to live a comfortable life.
The side effects of the injections.
Typically, patients experience pain in the injection site after having it done and you may also feel some increase in your pain to start with. This is usually controlled with painkillers. There may also be some bruising to the area and tenderness to the skin.
If a local anaesthetic is used to numb the injection area then this can also temporarily numb the nerves that control your blood pressure. This can cause numbness in the leg and bum area, it can also make you feel unsteady on your feet and light headed. This is easily sorted by having you lay down for a while or in some cases by using medication or a drip. In some extremely rare cases of the caudal epidural spinal injections, it can cause permanent nerve damage or injury.
We hope that this information has helped you learn about Caudal Epidural injections. Just remember, it is your decision and yours alone to have the injections, it is always worth speaking to your doctor about the risks and rewards before having it done.
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