Are Spinal Injections safe?
Injections in the spine have some risk related to where the injections are placed. For example, injections in the lower (lumbar) spine have the least risk because the spinal cord ends much higher than where the injection is given. All spinal injections should be done under x-ray guidance which further reduces the risk for any adverse reactions. Risk for side effects can be further reduced by adhering to specific protocols and proper sterile conditions. Finally, the skill of the physician has much to do with risk and potential side effects.
Should I continue to take my medications before the injection?
Yes. Please continue to take your usual medications for other health conditions. The only exception would be Warfarin or Plavix which are blood thinners. If you are taking either of these medications, please inform our office and nurse at least 1 week prior. It is likely you will be asked to stop these medications before the injection.
Do I need a driver?
Yes. Some injections will result in one or both legs to temporarily go numb. This could make walking and driving dangerous. We understand this might be an inconvenience but this is a very important precaution.
How long will I be here?
Typically from start to finish will be about 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours. We often have a very punctual clinical, but sometimes emergencies and the treatment of complicated patients can delay a more timely visit.
What can I eat before the procedure?
Yes. Please eat a light breakfast or lunch. You will be lying on your stomach so please do not over eat. Please also keep well hydrated 24-48 hours prior to your injection. This is especially important for diabetic patients.
What do I do after the injections?
Have a "Lazy day". You do not need to be bed-ridden, but limit your activities to your home. Please do not start any house projects and preferably do not go back to work. The benefits of the injection may be affected if you are over-active (yard work, shopping mall, fixing the roof, etc).
What will happen on the day of the injection?
You will be asked to complete additional paperwork, including consent for the procedure, a current depiction of your pain with a pain score, and billing information. You will then go to an exam room where the nurse will review pre and post injection instructions with you. Dr.Suthar will then discuss the steps involved in the procedure, expected outcomes and answer any remaining questions. You will then be taken into the procedure room where we will make every effort to make you comfortable on the procedure table. After the completion of the procedure you will be monitored for any side effects. Prior to your release, we will ask for a post injection pain score. This score is important for diagnostic purposes. You will be given follow-up instructions during checkout.
How is the billing done?
This procedure will be billed as an outpatient hospital procedure. There will be two components to your bill: Hospital technical fee and the professional fee from our office. Please note that our office is not involved in the billing process for the hospital (BJC) portion of the charge. If this procedure is done in a ASC (ambulatory surgery center), the ASC will charge a technical fee.