This outpatient procedure is an injection of a steroid-anesthetic medication through an opening in the sacrum. The medication can reduce swelling and inflammation of irritated spinal nerves. The injection takes only a few minutes to complete.
In preparation for the procedure, the patient lies
face down. A cushion is placed under the abdomen
to elevate the sacrum.
The physician administers a local anesthetic to
numb the skin and the tissue above the small
opening at the base of the sacrum. This opening is
called the sacral hiatus.
When the area is numb, the physician guides a
needle through the sacral hiatus and into the caudal
epidural space. This is the open space in the
sacrum where the irritated nerve roots are located.
Contrast Solution Injected
The physician injects contrast solution through the
needle. The physician uses a fluoroscope (a type of
x-ray device) to confirm that the tip of the needle is
positioned correctly within the epidural space.
After the needle’s position has been confirmed, the
physician injects a steroid-anesthetic medication.
This medication bathes the irritated nerve roots. It
will help alleviate the patient’s pain.
End of Procedure
When the procedure is complete, the physician
removes the needle and bandages the insertion
site. The patient may feel significant relief after one
injection. Some patients may need multiple
injections before they feel the full benefit of the