A caudal injection is actually an injection into the lowest portion of the epidural space. A caudal steroid injection can help reduce lower back and leg pain caused by sciatica, herniated discs, bone spurs or other back problems.
You have nerves that run from your spinal cord out to your back and legs. When one of those nerve “roots” (the end closest to your spinal cord) gets irritated and inflamed due to a damaged disc or other condition, it can cause back or leg pain.
A steroid medication can help reduce the inflammation and alleviate the pain. It’s injected into your back, into the area between the membrane that contains the spinal fluid (the dura) and the thickest ligament between your vertebra. The caudal canal is below the lower end of the spinal cord.
How is a caudal injection performed?
First, you will lie on your abdomen on an x-ray table. Then, an intravenous medication to help you relax will be administered.
The doctor will numb an area of skin on your lower back, just above your buttocks, with a local anesthetic. Then, guided by an x-ray, he or she will:
- Insert a thin needle into your back, just above your tailbone
- Inject dye to confirm that medication is administered into the caudal space
- Inject a mixture of anesthetic (for temporary pain relief) and steroid (for longer term relief)
The medicines then spread in the epidural and caudal spaces, thereby hopefully reducing nerve inflammation and pain.
Usually, the procedure takes less than 15 minutes and you can go home the same day.