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Jonathan Cluett, M.D.

How many epidural cortisone injections are necessary?

By February 3, 2007

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Patients with back problems are often prescribed by their doctor a series of injections into the back. These injections of cortisone, called epidural cortisone injections, can relieve both back and leg symptoms in many patients. By reducing the inflammation around the nerves and joints in the spine, pain is often reduced.

How many injections are needed for patients receiving an epidural steroid injection? Often, symptoms are relieved, or at least reduced, with just one injection. That said, there can also be a cumulative effect of more than one injection. Therefore, patients often receive a series of two or three injections spaced apart within a few weeks, to try to minimize the inflammation in the spine.

For my practice, if a patient finds no relief of symptoms after one injection, I do not continue injecting the spine. If a patient finds complete relief of symptoms after one injection, I also stop after one injection. In patients who have partial relief of symptoms after one injection, I will often recommend a second, or even a third, injection to help maximize relief of pain.

Related: Epidural Steroid Injections | Causes of Back Pain

Comments
March 16, 2009 at 7:51 pm
(1) Anne says:

How many epidural injections should one person have (approximately) before surgery should be considered?

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