Spinal injections are classified as a minimally invasive procedure and carries a low risk of associated complications, although they have been documented. The risks can be associated with the procedure itself or with the administration of the sedation. Your consultant who has requested the procedure will have considered the risks and compared them to the benefits of having the procedure carried out.
The benefits of spinal injections include temporary pain relief, namely in the back and limbs, allowing greater mobilibty and increasing quality of life.
Around 75% of individuals who undergo injections have significant relief of symptoms; 25% have mild relief and still experience some discomfort.
The main risks of the procedure are rare and in most cases very treatable.
- Infection, <1%
- Bleeding, rare and mostly seen in patients with underlying bleeding disorders
- Nerve injury, <1%
- Dural puncture causing severe headache, 1%
- Local discomfort
- Temporary weakness
The main side effects of the procedure are commonly associated with long term exposure to steroids and it is quite rare to experience these side effects because the dose of steroid used in injections is relatively low. If you do experience any of these symptoms, they are usually temporary.
- Fluid retention
- Weight gain
- Elevated blood pressure
- Flushing and blushing of the skin
- Mood swings
- Stomach ulcers
- Arthritis of the hips