Back Injections Under Fluoroscopy

Fluoroscopic guided injections are an effective way for individuals with back pain to find relief. Three of the most popular types of fluoroscopic guided injections are the epidural steroid injection, sacroiliac joint injection, and lumbar radiofrequency ablations.

While all of these injections target back pain, they are slightly different. The team at EmergeOrtho: Foothills Region compiled this resource to educate our readers on the epidural steroid and the facet joint injections. Here are more details on what you can expect from each one:

Fluoroscopic Guided Epidural Steroid Injections

A fluoroscopic guided epidural injection is when medicine is injected into the epidural area of the spine which is the space between the bony vertebrae and protective covering of the spinal cord. This type of injection uses the combination of a numbing agent and corticosteroid, and is typically used for therapeutic purposes. Fluoroscopic guided epidural injections are intended to provide pain relief that can allow patients with back pain to improve the condition of their spine with a home exercise program and physical therapy.

With the assistance of a special x-ray known as a fluoroscope, the doctor will direct a needle through the skin, between the bony vertebrae and into the epidural space. A fluoroscope monitor will allow the doctor to look at the needle in real time to ensure that the medication is injected as close to the inflamed nerve root as possible. Patients who undergo this procedure can expect to feel a little discomfort due to the pressure that occurs when the injection is delivered.

Sacroiliac Joint Injections

Sacroiliac joint injections, which are also known as sacroiliac joint blocks are used to treat lower back pain and sciatica symptoms that are related to sacroiliac joint dysfunction. The sacroiliac joints are next to the spine and connect the sacrum with the hip on both sides. There is a right sacroiliac joint and a left sacroiliac joint that may experience pain because of joint inflammation in this particular area.

This procedure also uses fluoroscopy to ensure that the needle is properly guided. When the needle is successfully in the joint, two different medications are usually injected. The first type of medication is a local anesthetic that is used to verify that the sacroiliac joint is the root cause of pain. An anti-inflammatory medication that is typically a corticosteroid is also injected to help minimize inflammation within the joint. Sacroiliac joint injections work to diagnose the source of an individual’s pain and provide them with effective relief.

Lumbar Radiofrequency Ablations

The goal of lumbar radiofrequency ablations is to alleviate or completely eliminate the pain associated with sacroiliac joints or a damaged facet. Lumber radiofrequency ablations are minimally invasive and disturb the medial branch nerves that hold the signals of pain. As with epidural steroid and sacroiliac joint injections, this lumbar radiofrequency ablations are performed under fluoroscopy for optimal accuracy.

For more information on back injections under fluoroscopy, contact EmergeOrtho: Foothills Region today. We look forward to helping you determine the type of injection that is right for your back pain needs.