What are the risks of an epidural injection for spinal stenosis?

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2 Answers

These messages are for mutual support and information sharing only. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.

The size of the spinal canal does not predict the success or failure of an epidural hormone injection. Complications are uncommon, but sometimes occur, including: 

  • adrenal hyperfunction, 
  • epidural hematoma, 
  • transient paralysis, 
  • retinal hemorrhage, 
  • epidural abscess, 
  • chemical meningitis, and 
  • intracranial gas. 

It is reported that the incidence of perforation of the capsule is 5%. If the dural sac is worn, avoid injecting hormone or local anesthetic into the subarachnoid space to avoid nerve root or chemical stimulation. There are 1% to 5% of patients with headaches, which are related to puncture of the dural sac or the use of the caudal puncture.

I think you should also take the drugs used into consideration. As we all know, drugs could have side effects.

What drugs are used in spinal epidurals for spinal stenosis?
2 basic types can be used for spinal stenosis:

Corticosteroids: These can be injected straight into the area around the spinal cord. This is called an epidural injection. Like NSAIDs, steroids work on inflammation and pain. An anesthesiologist or other specialist administers the injection.

Nerve blocks: These are anesthetics injected near the damaged nerves.

Everybody responds differently to these injections. You may get relief for a long time, for a short period, or not at all.

I assume it is epidural steroid injection. Potential risks are:

  • Temporary Numbness
  • Infection
  • Dural Puncture (Wet Tap)
  • Bleeding and Nerve Damage
  • An increase in pain around the injection site
  • Difficulty sleeping or increased anxiety
  • Higher blood sugar levels
  • Decreased immune system protection
  • Temporary headaches or fever