What is caudal infiltration?
It is one of the most common procedures for the treatment of chronic low back pain and to relieve pain caused by inflammation of the nerve elements of the spinal canal.
Generally, these nerves are compressed by displacement of vertebrae (spondylolisthesis), herniated discs, or canal stenosis due to osteoarthritis. This technique can also be used for diagnostic purposes to determine the cause of pain or in patients with postoperative fibrosis.
Why is it performed?
This technique is indicated for:
- Treatment of pain in the lumbar region.
- Pain of more than 6 months of evolution (chronic pain).
- Pain that has not responded to other non-invasive forms of treatment.
- In the absence of neurological claudication or specific neurological deficit.
- Presence of degenerative phenomena with lumbar canal stenosis or stenosis in some of the foramina in Computed Tomography and/or Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
What does it consist of?
This technique consists of the infiltration through an injection of a mixture of local anesthetics and corticoids in the epidural space in the lower part of the spinal canal (last bone of the spinal column). The procedure is quick (between 20-30 minutes) and generally not very uncomfortable, although occasionally the patient may experience pain.
The injected drugs block the sensation of pain that the nerves transmit to the brain, so some patients may notice a decrease in swelling almost immediately. However, most notice the beneficial effect after a few days.
In vertebral pathology, epidural infiltrations do not play a major role as a treatment, but are resorted to when other less aggressive techniques fail. After the infiltration, the patient should remain for 15-20 minutes at rest and under control.
- Possibility of infection near the injection site.
- May cause allergic processes to local anesthetics and corticoids.
- Need to modify the treatment of patients who are receiving treatment with anticoagulants or antiplatelet agents.