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What are the side effects of epidural steroid injections?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2010
Answered : 1109 Questions
I get a epidural injection every 3 control pain and dysfunction from 3 herniated disks and stenosis that results in pain and dysfunction with my sciatic nerve around my core area, hips, hamstrings and quads. I've done this for almost 3 yrs. I get great relief for about 2 mo. I'm concerned about possible side affects with prolonged use. I'm almost 84 yrs.old with no other medical problems.
Posted Mon, 17 Feb 2014 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Manjeth Kumar G 2 hours later
Brief Answer: Side effects from both. Decrease the frequent use. Detailed Answer: Hello, I have gone through your query and understand your concern. There are many side effects of epidural steroid injections, both procedure as well as steroids. There is no definitive research to dictate how many epidural steroid injections should be administered or how frequently they should be given. In general, the consensus is to perform up to three epidural injections per year. Though the side effects are rare from the procedure, but they are significant. Side effects are Infection, Bleeding and Nerve damage. You may have the usual side effects of steroids similar to other oral or injectable steroid use. Weight gain, Water retention, Flushing (hot flashes), Mood swings or Sleeplessness are the usual side effects. Some other significant side effects are a transient decrease in immunity because of the suppressive effect of the steroid, Stomach ulcers, Severe arthritis of the hips (avascular necrosis), Cataracts. Thus i advise you to decrease the frequency of epidural steroid injections as much as possible. Hope this helps. Please write back for further queries. Wishing you good health.
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