Transforaminal Lumbar vs. Translaminar: Epidural Steroid Injections

Transforaminal Lumbar vs. Translaminar: Epidural Steroid Injections

Published: October 14, 2019

Transforaminal Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection Vs. Translaminar Epidural Steroid Injection

Steroids are chemicals that are naturally present in our bodies, and synthetic steroids have many uses in modern medicine. Doctors use steroids to treat a variety of ailments, including arthritis, asthma, autoimmune diseases, and even some types of cancer. Corticosteroids are useful in medicine because they help to reduce inflammation, and can consequently be a powerful tool for providing patients with pain relief. Epidural steroid injections (ESI) are minimally-invasive procedures that deliver steroids to the spinal nerve. If you’re considering undergoing ESI for your pain symptoms, our San Antonio Texas pain specialists at the offices of Dr. Raul Martinez are here to give you the information you need about these procedures. Read on to learn more about ESI, and about the difference between transforaminal lumbar epidural steroid injection and translaminar epidural steroid injection.

Who Can Benefit From ESI Treatment?

Epidural injections are non-surgical procedures that can be used to treat inflammation and pain for many different types of patients, including patients suffering from herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, sciatica, or spinal stenosis. If your pain symptoms are caused—or impacted by—inflamed spinal nerves, ESI may be the right treatment for you. These injections are often used for shoulder pain treatment, neck pain treatment, arm pain treatment, and back pain treatment. However, patients who are pregnant, who have diabetes, who have high blood pressure, or who are currently suffering from infections may not receive ESI treatment.

Texas pain specialist discusses back pain with patient.

What is a Transforaminal Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection?

Transforaminal injections consist of a steroid medication injected into the area between the back and spinal cord in order to relieve pain in the lower back, legs, or feet.

These injections work by targeting the specific nerve that is irritated or inflamed and therefore causing pain symptoms. The injection consists of a mixture of anesthetic and a steroid medication in order to provide both short- and long-term pain relief. Generally, the entire procedure should take no more than half an hour.

What is the Procedure for a Transforaminal Injection?

First, the patient will be given an intravenous medicine to help them relax, and then they will lie facedown on an x-ray table. A doctor will apply a topical numbing anesthetic to the appropriate area of the back, and will carefully guide the needle using a fluroscope into the neural foramen (located on the side of the vertebra). With this approach (which is often used for patients who have previously undergone spinal surgery), the injection will be applied outside the epidural space that is just above the nerve root’s opening.

What is a Translaminar Epidural Steroid Injection?

A translaminar ESI is very similar to a transforaminal ESI; however, it differs because of how it is delivered. Your specific condition will determine which approach your doctor takes when performing your ESI.

For translaminar ESI procedures, the needle will be placed directly into the interlaminar space—that is, between the lamina of two vertebrae. This approach allows the injection to deliver steroid medication to the nerve root.

How Much Pain Relief Can ESI Provide?

The amount of pain relief provided by these injections depends on the patient. For some people, the pain relief may last for several months—others will need injections more frequently to keep pain symptoms at bay.

Want to Learn More About ESI or Other Non-Surgical Pain Treatment Options? Book an Appointment With Our Texas Pain Specialists Today

Here at the offices of Dr. Raul Martinez in San Antonio, our doctors specialize in the latest and best non-surgical options for pain relief. Whether you’re seeking shoulder pain treatment, neck pain treatment, or arm pain treatment, we have modalities that can help you manage your symptoms and get your life back on track. We believe that although pain is inevitable, suffering is optional—and we want to make sure that you don’t suffer.

To book an appointment with one of our doctors or learn about our non-surgical pain treatment options, visit us here.

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