Where is the epidural space?
There is a fluid-filled sac that covers the spine cord called the dura. The space that surrounds the dura is called the epidural space, and it is filled with fat and small blood vessels. When the nerves that travel along this space become irritated, it can be painful. This irritation can occur when the discs that normally cushion the spine are damaged or they rub up against the bony structure of the spine.
What is a thoracic epidural steroid injection?
It is an injection of an anti-inflammatory steroid medication and local anesthetic deposited into this space in the mid-back region. The steroid shrinks swelling around the nerve roots and the local anesthetic numbs the inflamed areas and relaxes the muscles around the epidural space. To ensure proper placement of the medication, the procedure may be performed under x-ray.