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Procedure FAQ



Glossary

Caudal

The caudal canal that passes through the tailbone or sacrum is the extension of the epidural space from the base of the spine. Usually there is a small opening at the end of the tailbone called the sacral hiatus. Placing a needle into this opening and injecting through it is called a caudal epidural injection. A caudal injection may be preferable when the spinal nerve roots involved are in the area where the body would contact a saddle or in patients who have failed traditional epidural steroid injections or have had previous back surgeries.

Dura

A protective covering of the spinal cord and nerves.

Epidural Space

The area surrounding the Dura, which is just inside the spinal canal and extends from the neck to the base of the tailbone.

Interlaminar

The interlaminar (between lamina) space is made up of the area between your spinous process (think the face of the vertebrae) and pedicles (which are attached to your vertebral body). When two of your vertebrae are stacked upon one another, an opening is created, and this is what is known as your interlaminar space. The needle is inserted into your spines epidural space through this opening. First a dye is injected to confirm the needle is in the correct position, upon confirmation, the steroid and numbing medicine is injected.

Neuropathy vs. Neuralgia

A common source of pain and impaired function is a broad category of conditions referred to as peripheral neuropathies. Similarly sounding, but distinct are conditions referred to as peripheral neuralgias. Peripheral neuropathies come in both generalized (widespread, multiple nerves) and focal (affecting just one or very few nerves) varieties and is defined by measurable abnormalities in the physiology of the affected nerves. Neuralgia simply refers to pain originating from nerves but may or may not involve impaired function of the nerve. It is possible to have neuropathy without neuralgia and neuralgia without neuropathy however the two conditions often coexist.

Transforaminal

The transverse foramen is an opening formed between your vertebrae by the attachment of your superior and inferior pedicles, along with your intervertebral disks. This opening allows the nerve roots to exit the spinal cord laterally (or to the side). The transforaminal approach involves inserting a needle through this opening to access the epidural space.

Zygapophyseal (Facet) Joint

Small gliding joints between vertebrae that allow for bending and twisting movement.