I am a patient of Dr. Jeffrey Oppenheimer, who is my spine doctor. I have gotten wonderful care from him and all the PAs and staff. At Hollywood and Palm Beach Gardens. They are extremely talented and I could not ask for a better knowledgable doctor in his field. He is kind, patient, and takes the time needed to answer your questions and concerns. He has helped me so much. I will have the lumbar operation with him as my doctor. Also, I was referred to Dr. Shapiro in that group who is a knee doctor. I have gotten an MRI now and he prescribed a physical Therapist that is really helping me. This is the third set, the other two were Prescribed by another doctor that I did not get the hands on treatment from. I can not say enough good things about this group of doctors, PAs and their group.
The steroid injected reduces swelling and inflammation of nerves, which may reduce pain, tingling, numbness, and other symptoms caused by nerve inflammation, irritation, or swelling. The steroid we use is betamethasone (Celestone-Soluspan). The procedure is performed under live x ray (fluoroscopy) and with the use of x ray dye to ensure accuracy and precision. The procedure involves cleaning your skin with an antiseptic solution. The skin and deeper tissues are numbed with a local anesthetic using a very thin needle prior to inserting the Epidural needle. The procedure is done under local anesthesia, so you are not “put out” for the procedure. The procedure is performed while you are lying on your stomach. You are monitored with a blood pressure cuff and a blood oxygen monitoring device which monitors your oxygen levels and heart rate. Immediately after the injection, the skin is cleaned and a band-aid is applied. You may experience some “pressure” at the injection site and this may last up to an hour. Your pain may return and you may have a “sore neck” for a day or two. This is due to the mechanical process of needle insertion as well as initial irritation from the steroid itself. At about day #3 you should start noticing pain relief. It may take up to 2 weeks to notice an improvement from the steroids. Generally speaking, the procedure is safe; however, with any procedure there are risks, side effects, and possibility of complications. The most common side effect is pain- which is temporary. The other risks involve spinal puncture with headache (post dural headache), infection, bleeding inside the epidural space with nerve damage, worsening of symptoms. The other risks are related to the side effects of cortisone, which include weight gain, increase in blood sugar (mainly in diabetics), water retention, and suppression of the body’s own natural production of cortisone.