What is a Caudal Epidural Steroid Injection?

Overview

This outpatient procedure is an injection of a steroid-anesthetic medication through an opening in the sacrum. The medication can reduce swelling and inflammation of irritated spinal nerves. The injection takes only a few minutes to complete.

Preparation

In preparation for the procedure, the patient lies face down. A cushion is placed under the abdomen to elevate the sacrum.

Needle Inserted

When the area is numb, the provider guides a needle through the sacral hiatus and into the caudal epidural space. This is the open space in the sacrum where the irritated nerve roots are located.

Contrast Solution Injected

The provider injects contrast solution through the needle. The provider uses a fluoroscope (a type of x-ray device) to confirm that the tip of the needle is positioned correctly within the epidural space.

Medication Injected

After the needle’s position has been confirmed, the provider injects a steroid-anesthetic medication. This medication bathes the irritated nerve roots. It will help alleviate the patient’s pain.

End of Procedure

When the procedure is complete, the provider removes the needle and bandages the insertion site. The patient may feel significant relief after one injection. Some patients may need multiple injections before they feel the full benefit of the medication.