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What is an Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI)?

After an auto accident, you should seek immediate medical attention; to receive proper care for injuries you may have sustained. After experiencing a traumatic event, the body releases pain-relieving hormones, causing a delay in feelings of pain; lasting anywhere from several hours to several weeks. If you are experiencing electric-like pain in the neck, back, arm, or leg, or are experiencing numbness, your doctor may recommend an Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI). This injection will help reduce inflammation and pain at a targeted site. Typically, injuries such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, spondylolysis, etc. often utilize an ESI as part of their treatment. 

An Epidural Steroid Injection is composed of a corticosteroid and an anesthetic numbing agent. These medicines work together to relieve pain by flushing out inflammatory proteins near spinal nerve roots. This procedure is minimally invasive, depositing the injection into the epidural space (a fat-filled area located between bone and spinal nerves). This procedure does not require a specialized location, rather it can take place in a doctor’s office or medical center.

What to Expect

For patients experiencing mild pain, typically only one or two treatments will be required, at an interval of 1-4 weeks. When administered, the injection needle will be monitored in real-time on an x-ray monitor. Your doctor will insert a hollow needle through your skin between your vertebrae into the targeted area. 

To treat a neck injury, a cervical epidural steroid injection will be performed. The needle will be inserted from the side of the neck, placing the injection as close to the inflamed nerve root as possible. For a lower back injury, a lumbar epidural steroid injection will be administered; the needle will enter the body slightly off the midline of the lower back. The pain relief from this procedure may last anywhere from several days to several years; providing you the time to complete physical therapy, or other recommended treatments, without pain. 

How an ESI Can Help

After an ESI injection, you should schedule a follow-up appointment with your medical provider, in order to properly document your pain relief, and address any questions you may have. 

An Epidural Steroid Injection will not fix your injuries but instead provides pain relief. Without feelings of excessive pain, additional treatment options, such as physical therapy, become available. 

What Does This Mean For My Insurance Claim?

If your doctor recommends an epidural steroid injection as a part of your recovery plan, you should not wait until after your case settles to receive this treatment. Waiting until after your case settles, may result in a lower settlement. Your attorney, or adjuster, will not be able to accurately account for your medical expenses; causing the value of your claim to potentially decrease. Likewise, getting an epidural steroid injection prior to your case settling increases the value of your case by demonstrating the severity of your injuries.

Were you or someone you know involved in a recent auto accident? Call Auto Accident Care Network now at 801-683-1948 to connect with a live care advocate. Our team at AACN can connect you to trusted attorneys and doctors to schedule a free legal consultation, a free thirty-minute massage, and a no-cost medical exam!

3 thoughts on “What is an Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI)?”

  1. Pingback: Spondylolisthesis Spinal Disorder - Auto Accident Care Network

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