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Caudal epidural for sciatica

Steroid injection in the spine

An epidural can help relieve the pain, tingling or numbness caused by sciatica, the irritation of the sciatic nerve

About caudal epidurals

The sciatic nerve runs from your hip to your feet. The irritation of this nerve, most commonly caused by a slipped disc, but also by a narrowing or misalignment of the spine, is called sciatica. This can cause pain or numbness. An injection at the base of the spine may help relieve the symptoms.

Need to know

  • What happens during a caudal epidural? icon plus

    A caudal epidural is an injection which is given at the base of the spine. You will usually have a local anaesthetic to numb the area first. Your consultant will then use the latest scanning technology or x-ray guidance to locate the precise area for the injection. They will give you a mixture of local anaesthetic to reduce pain straight away and a steroid to reduce inflammation. This is injected directly into the epidural space. An epidural injection usually takes 15 to 30 minutes.

    In some cases, a nerve root injection may be given as an alternative, it contains the same type of mixture of local anaesthetic and steroid but is specifically targeted to be infiltrated around the nerve root. It is given for the same indications. Your consultant may do the injection himself or refer you to an interventional radiologist or pain specialist.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    As with any procedure, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you and let you know how to prepare.
  • After your injection icon plus

    You will usually be able to go home on the same day as your epidural. It can take up to a month to feel the effects of the steroid. Your consultant will let you know about returning to your routine, including exercise. They may even recommend physiotherapy.
  • When would you need surgery and what are your options? icon plus

    When a nerve in your spine is physically compressed it is called a 'trapped' or 'pinched' nerve. You may need back surgery to release it. A trapped nerve can occur in different areas of your back for several different reasons, causing you to experience pain usually in the arms or legs.

    Surgery to release the ‘trapped’ or ‘pinched’ nerves can be done in the neck or lower back and in rare cases the mid-back (thoracic spine). This surgery is described as a ‘discectomy’ or ‘decompression’and may be performed with insertion of instrumentation to increase the rigidity of the spine.

Consultant in theatres

Our spinal consultants

We're proud to work with leading orthopaedic and neurosurgery experts specialising in regions of the spinal including the lumbar, cervical and thoracic, and whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our locations

From complex spinal surgery to diagnostic tests and procedures, we provide exceptional back and spinal care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • The Wellington Hospital - South Building

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 020 7483 5148
    General enquiries 020 7586 5959

  • London Bridge Hospital

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street


    SE1 2PR

    Appointments & Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 020 7234 2773

  • The Lister Hospital

    Chelsea Bridge Road


    SW1W 8RH

    Appointments 020 7730 8298
    General enquiries 020 7730 7733

  • The Princess Grace Hospital

    42-52 Nottingham Place

    London W1U 5NY

    Appointments 020 7908 8001
    General enquiries 020 7486 1234

  • The Portland Hospital

    205 - 209 Great Portland Street


    W1W 5AH

    Children's enquiries 020 7390 8020
    Maternity enquiries 020 7390 6068
    Gynaecology enquiries 020 7390 6200

  • The HSC exterior

    The Harley Street Clinic

    35 Weymouth Street

    London  W1G 8BJ

    Appointments 020 7935 7700
    General enquiries 020 7034 8181

  • HCA UK at The Wilmslow Hospital

    52-54 Alderley Road


    SK9 1NY

    Appointments 020 7483 5148
    General enquiries 01615 160 961

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    HCA UK at The Shard

    The Shard, 32 St Thomas Street


    SE1 9BS

    Call 020 3131 6888
    Opening hours 7:30 - 20:00 Monday - Friday

  • Platinum Medical Centre facility

    Platinum Medical Centre

    Platinum Medical Centre, 15 - 17 Lodge Road


    NW8 7JA

    Call 020 7483 5148

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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