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Minimally Invasive Pain Institute

Pain and Debilitating Conditions

Epidural Steroid Injection (Interlaminar vs. Transforaminal)

An epidural steroid injection is an injection of a long-lasting steroid into the epidural space (or space inside the spinal canal but outside the dural membrane which covers the nerve roots) to relieve pain and/or diagnose an acute or chronic pain condition. The steroid is used to reduce the inflammation and/or swelling of the nerves in the epidural space, to, therefore, reduce pain, tingling, and numbness and other symptoms caused by nerve inflammation, irritation, or swelling. Epidural steroid injections are among many interventional pain management and treatment services available at our pain management center. Our focus on interventional pain management means that a team of healthcare professionals, from diverse therapeutic fields, work together to provide you with the best possible care for the highest level of pain relief.

Interlaminar versus Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injections
The difference between interlaminar and transforaminal epidural steroid injections is in the procedural approach or technique. Interlaminar epidural injection refers to injection into the interlaminar space of the spine (or the space between the laminae of adjacent vertebrae). Transforaminal refers to injection into the openings between the vertebrae through which the nerve roots exit. While the interlaminar technique can be performed through paramedian or midline approaches, the transforaminal technique is performed through an oblique approach. Both pain management procedures show analgesic effectiveness. If it is decided by our pain management physicians that epidural steroid injections are a viable treatment option for your acute or chronic pain condition, then they will recommend the best technique for you.

With any pain management procedure, there are risks, side effects, and the possibility of complications, and epidural steroid injections are no exception. Risks/side effects as a result of the injection include headaches, infection, bleeding inside the epidural space with nerve damage, worsening of symptoms, etc. Risks/side effects as a result of the steroids include weight gain, increase in blood sugar (mainly in diabetics), water retention, suppression of the body’s own natural production of cortisone, etc. For a better understanding of interventional pain treatment services, specifically interlaminar and transforaminal epidural steroid injections, contact our pain management center and speak with one of our physicians. Together, we’ll help you find the relief you need for the quality of life you deserve.