You have nerves that run from your spinal cord outwards to your neck, back and legs. When one of these nerve “roots” (the end closest to your spinal cord) become irritated or inflamed due to a damaged disc or other condition, it can cause arm pain, back pain and/or leg pain.
A targeted injection therapy can help reduce the inflammation and alleviate the pain when other conservative pain management methods have failed to fully resolve your symptoms. A targeted injection therapy may be right for you if your back pain has lasted longer than four weeks, is severe, or has not improved with other treatments, such as physical therapy.
At Elite Spine, there are many different types of targeted injection therapies which we may tailor to your individual needs. Your suitability for each type of injection will be discussed and planned with you on your consultation. The majority of our patients do extremely well and experience significant relief of pain and suffering following appropriately prescribed spinal injections. Sometimes injections may need to be repeated or a different type of injection may need to be performed, once your symptoms are better localised and controlled.
At Elite Spine, the decision to perform additional injections is made only after careful observation and follow up. We usually do not prescribe a series of injections.
As with all treatments, there are some risks associated with spinal injections that will need to be considered before proceeding. These risks include a small chance of bleeding, infection or injury to local nerves or vessels near the targeted site. It is extremely important that you let us know if you are taking any anti-inflammatory, blood thinning and/or herbal medications that may increase your risk of bleeding during and immediately after the procedure. Many of these medications will need to be temporarily discontinued for the week preceding the injection to decrease the risk of bleeding.
While there are many variations of targeted injection therapies available, we have listed below an overview of our most frequently used injection therapies.
Selective Nerve Root Block
A selective nerve root block procedure is an injection of a small amount of steroid and local anaesthetic around a specific nerve root, or spinal nerve, which exits from the spinal cord.
Selective Nerve Root Blocks can be done in the cervical (neck), thoracic (chest) and lumbar (lower back) regions. This type of targeted injection procedure may be chosen for you for both therapeutic (pain relieving) and diagnostic (identifying the nerve responsible for your pain) purposes.
Caudal Epidural Injection
A caudal epidural is an injection into the lowest portion of the epidural space. A caudal steroid injection can help reduce lower back and leg pain caused by sciatica, herniated discs, bone spurs or other back problems.
The steroid medication is injected into your back, into the area between the membrane that contains the spinal fluid (the dura) and the thickest ligament between your vertebrae.
Facet Joint Injection/Facet Block
Facet joints are small joints at each segment of the spine that provide stability and help guide motion. The facet joints can become painful due to arthritis of the spine, a back injury, or mechanical stress to the back.
A cervical, thoracic or lumbar facet joint injection involves injecting a small amount of local anaesthetic (numbing agent) and/or steroid medication, which can anaesthetise the facet joints and block the pain receptors. The pain relief from a facet joint injection is intended to help a patient better tolerate a physical therapy routine to rehabilitate his or her injury or back condition.
Sacroiliac Joint Injection
The sacroiliac (SI) joint is a strong weight bearing joint in the pelvis that connects the sacrum and pelvis. There are two joints, one on each side of the sacrum, reinforced by ligaments. Both joints normally have movement and provide shock absorption for the spine. Just like other joints in the body, this joint can become inflamed, unstable and dysfunctional. Localized steroid injections into the SI joint can provide targeted therapy to reduce pain and inflammation and allow physical therapy to make further progress.
Other Targeted Injection Therapies
Occasionally, it may be decided that a different type of targeted injection therapy would be more suitable for an individual patient’s needs. This will be discussed and explained at your consultation.
If you wish book an appointment you can get in touch with us as listed below.