How are spine injections performed?
Other than the obvious answer “very carefully,” there are a few things are characteristic of nearly all our spine injections. We perform the procedures in our office. The procedures are done after cleaning and sterilizing the skin which minimizes the risk of infection to the patient. You’ll notice that for this lumbar injection Dr. Thoma is working with a sterile drape placed over the patient’s low back. The skin was cleaned with the sterilizing solution before the drape was placed. The patient is lying on his stomach on the procedure table.
Some patients have their injection done while they are awake, and Dr. Thoma will numb up the skin and superficial tissues with lidocaine. Other patients may receive a valium or even IV sedation for their procedure. Patients who receive sedation will need a driver and have more specific dietary restrictions on the day of their procedure.
The machine in front of Dr. Thoma is called the C-arm, or fluoroscope. This transmits low-dose radiation (less than a typical x-ray) so that we can simultaneously view both the needle and the important landmarks of the spine. Those labels are attached to the photograph. We use the c-arm for all our spine procedures including epidural steroid injections, radiofrequency ablations, kyphoplasty, spinal cord stimulation, etc.
At Cahaba Pain and Spine Care, we are proud to offer more interventional procedures than most other pain or orthopaedic clinics can. We have many highly functional patients that come to us for procedures only. Patients do not need to be on pain medication to have their procedures done here. If you are interested in referring a patient or scheduling a procedure with us, give us a call today at 205-208-9001