Epidural For Herniated Disc

Back Surgery Information

Epidural for Herniated Disc

An epidural for herniated disc is something your doctor may try before suggesting surgery. Many people have found that it can give pain relief which is the main consideration for those with a herniated or ruptured disc, especially one which is touching the sciatic nerve.

If it were not for the excruciating pain connected with a herniated disc many people would never have to go through the drama of a back surgery. Most back problems heal themselves with time if given the chance. The problem is it can take months of doing absolutely nothing that can make the ruptured disc worse while it is healing. During this period there is usually a large amount of pain that can is difficult to control without strong pain medication. Few people have the patience or the luxury of waiting for an extended period for the back to heal itself. Thus, they sooner or later decide on surgery in hopes of getting some relief.

Although back surgeries have come a long way in the last few years, they are still considered a serious surgery that should be avoided if possible. For this reason the doctors themselves never suggest any immediate operation but prefer to try alternative methods first. One of these is an epidural for herniated disc.

The spinal cord is a tube like structure that comes out of the brain and runs the length of the spinal column. The tube that protects the spinal cord is called the dural sac and it is protected by the bones of the vertebrae. On each vertebrae level there are nerve roots with a covering called the dura. This is where the epidural gets its name and the medication is injected in this area where xrays or other medical tests have shown there to be a problem disc.

The medication used when doing an epidural for herniated disc is usually a steroid or cortisone and there are two places it may be injected. One is called a transforaminal injection and is placed where the nerve root comes out of the spinal cord. The other is called an inter-laminar epidural injection and it is placed under the bony region in the back of the spine overlaying the spinal cord.

The epidural for herniated disc is done to provide a very strong anti-inflammatory effect in hopes of lessening the patients pain sufficiently enough to give the disc a chance to heal itself.

There are a number of other things your physician may suggest trying before doing herniated disc surgery. Since there is always the chance of complications with any major surgery it is always best to try other options first.

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