Relieving lower back pain and leg pain, one patient at a time.
What is a lumbar transforaminal injection?
A lumbar transforaminal injection is also known as a lumbar transforaminal epidural steroid injection, and it is an outpatient procedure that is used to help relieve pain in the lower back and leg.
Your spinal cord and nerves are protected by a special covering known as the dura, which is surrounded by an area known as the epidural space; in the area of your lower back, this is known as the lumbar epidural space. With lumbar epidural injections, a doctor will reduce inflammation by injecting a corticosteroid into your lumbar epidural space.
Transforaminal describes the technique of this injection; when it is administered on the side where your nerve comes out of your spine, this is known as transforaminal. The benefit of this technique is that it directly administers the medication to the inflammation area.
When would I need a lumbar transforaminal injection?
A lumbar transforaminal injection is used when a patient chooses a non-invasive procedure to relieve lower back and leg pain related to pinched nerves. There are five bones (vertebrae) in the spine’s lumbar section, and between these vertebrae are discs that keep them safely tucked together.
However, there are times when these discs are damaged, torn, or displaced. When this happens, the nerve roots in your lumbar area can become inflamed, or your osteophytes or bone spurs might pinch against your nerves. Both cases would cause pain to your lower back and leg.
While MRIs can detect if your discs are displaced or if your nerves have been pinched, they can’t detect a leaking or torn disc. The lumbar transforaminal injection can relieve your pain while helping doctors give you the right diagnosis.
Before the Procedure
As this is a quick and non-surgical procedure, preparation before the procedure is limited to getting a full understanding of what will happen during and after. Your doctor will also need to know any allergies you might have or medications you might be on. It is also necessary to discuss with your doctor the possible risks of the procedure.