Epidural Cortisone Injections for Sciatica From Herniated Disc...Beneficial?
Medical Author: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
A majority of patients with sciatica from disc herniation have resolution of their pain with various conservative measures, including antiinflammatory and muscle-relaxant medications, exercises, physical therapy, and time. However, some 10%-15% of affected patients require surgical procedures to relieve the pain.
In recent decades, cortisone medications have been injected into the space around the spinal cord (epidural space) to reduce the inflammation and swelling of the disc herniation, thereby relieving irritation of the adjacent nerves. It has never been certain as to whether this procedure (epidural injection) can actually reduce the need for surgery.