Where is the caudal space?
The spine has 3 major regions: the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine. Below the lumbar region are two other sections, the sacrum & coccyx bones which are within the pelvis. It is the large irregular triangular shaped bone. The spinal canal extends into the sacrum. When this area becomes inflamed or irritated, it may cause persistent low back pain, which is increased with sitting.
What is a caudal epidural steroid injection?
It is an injection of an anti-inflammatory steroid medication and local anesthetic deposited into the epidural space in the caudal region. The steroid shrinks swelling around the nerve roots and the local anesthetic numbs the inflamed areas and relaxes the muscles around the epidural space. To ensure proper placement of the medication, the procedure is performed under x-ray (fluoroscopy)
What is the purpose of the caudal epidural steroid injection?
To treat low back and leg pain that may be due to inflammation of the vertebral disc and/or nerves. However, it will not correct the medical problem causing the inflammation but may improve the level of pain you are experiencing. It is not unusual to need more than one injection to obtain long term benefit. These injections are done in a series of three, usually a month apart if needed.
What are the risks of the procedure?
Some risks, although remote include: bleeding, infection, nerve injury, and allergic reaction to the medication(s). Diabetics may have short-term elevation of blood sugars. People prone to fluid retention may have increased fluid retention for 1-2 weeks.