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Minimally Invasive Pain Institute

Interventional Pain Management

Epidural Steroid Injection (Interlaminar vs. Transforaminal)

An epidural steroid injection is an injection of a long-lasting corticosteroid 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 reduces the inflammation and/or swelling of the nerves which can reduce pain caused by nerve inflammation, irritation, or swelling. Epidural steroid injections are among many interventional pain management and treatment services available at our facility. Our specialty focus on interventional pain management means that we provide the latest and best medical treatments to facilitate the best outcomes of your pain condition.

Interlaminar versus Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injections
The difference between interlaminar and transforaminal epidural steroid injections is 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 epidural 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, epidural steroid injections also carry risks, side effects, and the possibility of complications without exception. Risks/side effects as a result of the injection include headaches, infection, bleeding inside the epidural space, nerve damage, worsening of symptoms, etc. Risks/side effects as a result of the steroids include weight gain, increase in blood sugar (mainly in people who have diabetes), 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, one of our physicians will gladly discuss this treatment option. Together, we’ll help you find the relief you need for the quality of life you deserve.