Epidural Injection

What is an epidural injection?

An epidural injection involves injecting local anaesthetics and steroids into an area called the epidural space, near your spinal cord. This numbs your nerves to provide pain relief. The steroids reduce inflammation and may make the pain relief last longer.

What types of epidural injection are available?

The type of epidural injection depends on where it is given.

What are the benefits of an epidural injection?

An epidural injection can give you short-term pain relief, allowing you to move around more easily.

What does the procedure involve?

An epidural injection usually takes 15 to 30 minutes.

Your doctor will insert a needle and inject the anaesthetic. Your doctor will then remove the needle.

What complications can happen?

  • Failure of the epidural
  • Worsening pain
  • Low blood pressure
  • Headache
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Temporary leg or arm weakness
  • Backache
  • Seizures
  • Unexpected high block
  • Infection around your spine
  • Nerve injury
  • Blood clot around your spine

Summary

An epidural injection can be used for most people, usually giving a safe and effective form of pain relief.

Acknowledgements

This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

Author: Dr Vanessa Hodgkinson FFPMRCA FRCA and Dr Iain Moppett DM MRCP FRCA
Copyright © 2016 EIDO Healthcare Limited. The operation and treatment information on this website is produced by EIDO Healthcare Ltd and used under licence by the New Victoria Hospital.
Illustrations: Medical Illustration Copyright © Nucleus Medical Art. All rights reserved. www.nucleusinc.com

The intellectual property rights to the information belong exclusively to EIDO Healthcare Limited. You may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information other than for your personal, non-commercial use. The information should not replace any advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

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This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

Copyright © 2016 EIDO Healthcare Limited. The operation and treatment information on this website is produced by EIDO Healthcare Ltd and used under licence by Aspen Healthcare.

The intellectual property rights to the information belong exclusively to EIDO Healthcare Limited. You may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information other than for your personal, non-commercial use. The information should not replace any advice that your relevant health professional would give you.