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Lumbar Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection


This outpatient procedure is an injection of a steroid-anesthetic medication. The medication can reduce swelling and inflammation of irritated spinal nerves. This procedure is performed to relieve pain in the lower back and pain that radiates from the back to the legs. The injection takes only a few minutes to complete.

Lumbar Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection

A transforaminal injection is an injection of long acting steroid into the opening at the side of the spine where a nerve roots exits. This opening is known as a foramen. There is a small sleeve of the epidural space that extends out over the nerve root for a short distance. This epidural root sleeve is just outside the spinal canal. Sometimes these injections are referred to as root sleeve blocks, root blocks or transforaminal epidural blocks. The long acting steroid that is injected reduces the inflammation and swelling of spinal nerve roots and other tissues surrounding the spinal nerve root. This may in turn reduce pain, tingling and numbness and other symptoms caused by such inflammation, irritation or swelling. Also, the transforaminal injections can be used to identify a specific spinal nerve root level or levels that are the source of pain.


This procedure is done under local anesthesia. Some patients choose to receive intravenous sedation that can make the procedure easier to tolerate. The amount of sedation given generally depends upon the patient. Some patients have enough sedation that they have amnesia and might not remember parts or all of the actual procedure. You should be able to go back to work the next day unless the procedure was extensive or complicated and involved a large number of levels. Usually you will feel some soreness or aching at the injection site only.