A caudal epidural cortisone injection consists of a long lasting steroid and a local anesthetic that are injected into the lower back—more specifically, the epidural space where irritated nerve roots are located. The caudal approach utilizes the sacral opening (located just above the tailbone) so that the needle reaches the very bottom of the epidural space.
Caudal epidural cortisone injections may be used for:
- Herniated disc
- Lumbar spinal stenosis
- Bone spurs
- Chronic back pain
- Lower extremity pain
How it Works
A caudal epidural cortisone injection takes less than 15 minutes. During the procedure, a thin needle is guided using x-ray imaging. The steroid and anesthesia are injected between the dura (a membrane that contains spinal fluid) and the thickest ligament between the vertebra.
You will experience quick relief from the anesthesia, usually within 30 minutes. The medication will spread throughout the caudal and epidural spaces. Long term relief from the steroid starts working in one to three days, and sometimes takes up to a week.
You can return to your regular activities the next day. The results from caudal epidural cortisone injections can last several months or longer, and repeat injections can be safely performed.
Some minor side effects, like redness and irritation at the injection site, are only temporary. Other side effects, like allergic reaction and infection, are rare.