Having an epidural injection can be used for multiple reasons.
What is an epidural injection?
An epidural injection involves injecting local anaesthetics and steroids into the epidural space (an area near your spinal cord). This numbs your nerves to give pain relief in certain areas of your body.
How does an epidural injection work?
Simple painkillers such as paracetamol can help control mild pain caused by wisdom teeth. Antibiotics and rinsing with hot, salty water or chlorhexidine mouthwash can help when the area around the wisdom tooth is infected. Removing the gum lying over your tooth (operculectomy) may be possible in certain cases if a wisdom tooth has partly erupted. If the root of your tooth lies close to the nerve that supplies feeling to your lower lip, it is possible to remove just the crown of your tooth (coronectomy).
What types of epidural injection are available?
The type of epidural injection depends on where it is given.
What are the benefits of an epidural injection?
An epidural injection can give you short-term pain relief, allowing you to move around more easily.
What does the procedure involve?
An epidural injection usually takes 15 to 30 minutes. Your doctor may use an x-ray to guide them while they give the injection. Your doctor will carefully insert the needle for the epidural injection. The healthcare team will monitor you closely during and after the injection.
What complications can happen?
Like all procedures, there are some levels of risks to consider. Some of these can be serious and can even cause death. However, you can speak to your doctor about the following complications that may worry you.
- Failure of the epidural
- Worsening pain
- Low blood pressure
- Temporary leg or arm weakness
- Difficulty passing urine
- Unexpected high block, if the local anaesthetic spreads beyond the intended area
- Infection around your spine
- Short-term nerve injury
- Visual disturbance or loss of vision
- Long-term nerve injury
- Blood clot around your spine
How soon will I recover?
Most people feel completely normal after the procedure. Depending on how your body reacts, you can go home after a short while.
An epidural injection can be used for most people, usually giving a safe and effective form of pain relief. To find out more, call us on 0808 101 0337 or make an online enquiry.
Authors: Dr Vanessa Hodgkinson FFPMRCA FRCA, Dr Iain
Moppett DM MRCP FRCA
Illustrator: Medical Illustration Copyright © Nucleus Medical
Art. All rights reserved. www.nucleusinc.com