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Prepare for Your
Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection

An epidural steroid injection is a procedure in which the radiologist inserts a needle into the epidural space in your lower back. The epidural space lies just outside the spinal canal, not near the spinal cord.

You will lie on your stomach on the fluoroscopy table (a special type of x-ray). The radiologist will cleanse your low back and inject a numbing medication. Once the needle is in the epidural space, a long acting anti-inflammatory medicine (Celestone Soluspan) mixed with the anesthetic is injected.

The Celestone Soluspan decreases the inflammation within the lumbar and sacral nerves and may provide pain relief for a period of time. The pain relief is not immediate and it may take up to two weeks for you to feel the full effects of the medication. The medication will not change the disc in any way but is intended to reduce inflammation around the disc, reducing pain.

The procedure takes approximately 45 minutes. After the procedure is complete, you will be taken back to the nursing area for 30 minutes of flat bed rest and observation.


  1. If there is any possibility that you may be pregnant, please inform your doctor and the radiology nurse.
  2. You can expect to be contacted by a nurse to explain preparation instructions up to 2-5 days before your appointment. Be prepared to share a list of your medications and allergies (including contrast allergies). If you take any type of blood thinners, anti-coagulants, or diabetic medications, please contact the nurse at least one week before your appointment (or as soon as you know about the appointment).
  3. Do not eat or drink anything for 2 hours prior to your appointment time.
  4. You can expect to be here approximately 2 hours.
  5. It is required that you have someone to drive you home.
  6. You will receive additional written and verbal aftercare instructions before you go home.

If you have questions, please ask the doctor who is ordering your exam. If you require more information about the procedure, please contact the MDC radiology nurse at 612-879-1528, Monday through Friday between 7:30am - 4:00pm.

Epidural Injection is only available at MDC Minneapolis.