Preparing for my Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection

Orthopaedic & Spine Center

Interventional Pain Management with OSC’s Dr Raj Sureja

Okay, I think that I have told you in my previous blog posts that I am a BIG CHICKEN and TERRIFIED of needles.  So, it should come as no surprise to you that I was facing the prospect of having an epidural injection into the space surrounding my spinal column with great fear and trepidation.  I could lie to you and tell you I had no fear, because I work for OSC and have faith in the physicians here.  But, no matter how much I trust them and their skill level, I was still scared to death.

A needle, not only in my back, but in my spinal canal???

Am I crazy???

pain relief with epidural
Schematic of Epidural Injection

When the pain becomes so bad, that your life is affected everyday by your plans to manage your pain and how many activities you can complete during the day before your pain gets too bad, and how much time do you have to spend in the tub or lying on the heating pad before your muscles relax enough so that you can get some sleep, you become willing to do things that you never thought you would or could do to get relief.  Hence, I made an appointment with Dr. Raj Sureja, Interventional Pain Management Specialist at OSC, to perform my cervical epidural.

Dr Raj Sureja
Dr Raj Sureja with OSC’s Dr Jenny Andrus

In preparation for the epidural, you are given a sheet of instructions that are easy to read and follow.  Mostly, you are warned against taking anti-inflammatory medications of any kind for several days before your procedure (this includes Advil and Aleve).  They are concerned about the effect that the medications will have on bleeding and any complications that could arise from having the procedure done while on these drugs.  The OSC personnel also asked if I had any known allergies to drugs or if I had ever had a reaction to dye during a radiologic procedure.  They also checked to see if I could possibly be pregnant or have any other condition that might make having an epidural dangerous.

Given the go-ahead, I stopped taking my anti-inflammatory medications, switched to Tylenol and waited for my appointment!  Next time….E-Day!