Disc Injections

Pain Services

Intradiscal Injections

What are intradiscal injections?

Intradiscal injections are often prescribed when there are issues diagnosing the source of lower back or leg pain through diagnostic imaging tools such as MRI or CT scans. If your doctor suspects that your intravertebral discs are at the root of your pain, they may recommend an intradiscal injection. In this procedure, a steroid is injected into the intervertebral discs of your spine in an effort to reduce swelling, resulting in reduced pain levels. 

Frequently asked questions:

  • Herniated discs in the cervical or lumbar spine
  • Facet disease
  • Degenerative disc disease

You may be a candidate for intradiscal injections if it is suspected that your source of lower back or leg pain originates in your intervertebral discs. Intradiscal injections are typically recommended for patients where more conservative treatments have been unsuccessful in managing pain.

Prior to your procedure, all medical history is examined, diagnostic images are reviewed to determine the placement of injection, and the procedure is outlined to the patient. Patients that are taking blood thinners or antibiotics may be asked to discontinue prior to treatment. Please consult with your doctor prior to treatment. If the patient has any questions, they are answered at this time.

Once the patient is in a gown and on the operating table, they are given a local anesthetic. While on your stomach, small needles are placed along the targeted intervertebral discs aided with the use of a fluoroscope and the targeted tissues are then treated. 

As most patients can walk immediately following the procedure and are discharged the same day, please ensure you have arranged for transportation to and from your appointment. Following the observation period post-procedure, patients are usually asked to perform movements that would typically result in pain.

If the appropriate level of pain relief is realized from this procedure, the patients’ source of pain is deemed to be caused by the intervertebral discs. It is important to note that the steroid injected is expected to take effect between 2-5 days, with full effect or pain relief taking place between one and two-weeks post-injection.  

As intradiscal injections are a relatively safe procedure, minor risks include localized swelling or numbness, nerve pain, infection, or insufficient pain relief.

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