What are possible side effects of a lumbar epidural steroid injection?

In addition to risks from the injection, there are also potential side effects from the steroid medication. These side effects tend to be rare and much less prevalent than from oral steroids. Nonetheless, reported side effects from epidural steroid injections include:

  • localized increase in pain
  • non-positional headaches resolving within 24 hours
  • facial flushing
  • anxiety
  • sleeplessness
  • fever the night of injection
  • high blood sugar
  • transient decrease in immunity because of the suppressive effect of the steroid
  • stomach ulcers
  • severe arthritis of the hips (avascular necrosis)
  • cataracts
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