The caudal approach to the epidural space was first reported in 1901. Injection of steroids to treat low back pain was introduced in 1952. Caudal epidural steroid injection is a safe, effective technique when performed with appropriate care under fluoroscopic visualization. Caudal epidural injections are associated with inaccurate needle placement when performed blindly in a substantial number of patients, resulting in intravascular injections as well as other complications. This review will discuss anatomic and technical considerations of caudal epidural injections, along with advantages, disadvantages, complications, and indications.
The caudal approach to the epidural space involves the use of a Tuohy needle, an intravenous catheter, or a hypodermic needle to puncture the sacrococcygeal membrane . Injecting local anaesthetic at this level can result in analgesia and/or anaesthesia of the perineum and groin areas. The caudal epidural technique is often used in infants and children undergoing surgery involving the groin, pelvis or lower extremities. In this population, caudal epidural analgesia is usually combined with general anaesthesia since most children do not tolerate surgery when regional anaesthesia is employed as the sole modality.
High dosages of oral corticosteroids taken daily for prolonged periods of time can have serious systemic side effects including bone loss ( osteoporosis), increased risk of infections and diabetes and cataracts, thinning of skin, stretch marks, increased facial/body hair growth, acne, fluid retention, weight gain with redistribution of fat (fat deposits on back and face, thinning of limbs), muscle weakness, decreased resistance to infections, stomach ulcers, mood swings, insomnia, suppression of the body's own production of cortisol, etc.