Transforaminal Epidural steroid injections can reduce sciatica pain by almost 90 percent, according to the Anesthesia and Analgesia, a noted reference on the addition, a study published in the journal PM & R: the Study of Injury, Function, and Rehabilitation found that the transforaminal approach was superior to placebo procedures in decreasing radicular, or nerve related pain. It is most effective for sciatica pain, though less effective for simple lower back pain. Patients report feeling less pain, greater mobility, and increased quality of life. With relatively few side effects, epidural steroid injections are a viable treatment option.
The needle is smaller in size than that used during a conventional epidural approach. The procedure is performed with the patient lying on their belly using fluoroscopic (real-time x-ray) guidance, which helps to prevent damage to the nerve root. A radiopaque dye is injected to enhance the fluoroscopic images and to confirm that the needle is properly placed (See Figure 2). This technique allows the glucocorticoid medicine to be placed closer to the irritated nerve root than using conventional interlaminar epidural approach. The exposure to radiation is minimal.