Spinal injections have become a common form of pain relief for Americans experiencing back and leg pain, and the treatments can provide the temporary relief necessary to continue with everyday living. However, there is an increasing body of evidence that suggests that the risks associated with spinal injection therapy may not always be worth the temporary relief it provides. Although spinal injections are often performed, there’s a lot that patients may not know about the safety of undergoing this common procedure and the relief they might get from doing so.

Spinal Injection Therapy May Not Be as Safe or Effective as Many Believe

Spinal injection therapy involves the injection of corticosteroids—sometimes along with local anesthetics—into the epidural space in the spine. The procedure is intended to relieve pain, and it is often recommended for people suffering from back pain, leg pain, sciatica, and other conditions. However, patients undergoing spinal injection therapy should know that:

  • Epidural steroid injection is an off-label use. Most of the steroids currently in use are approved for relieving joint inflammation, but they have not been approved for epidural injections. While there are many drugs and therapies that medical providers may use for off-label purposes without a negative effect on the patient, it’s important to understand that off-label uses have not necessarily been thoroughly tested or specifically approved by regulators.
  • Injections may not provide significant pain relief. Dr. Steven P. Cohen, an associate professor of anesthesiology at Johns Hopkins, conducted a randomized trial of steroid injections for back pain in 2012. The results of the study were surprising: researchers found that steroid injection therapy may not offer as much relief for sciatica and back pain as medical providers originally thought. Dr. Richard Deyo, professor of Family Medicine at Oregon Health and Science University, says that even though there has been an increase in the number of injections over the last decade, Social Security Disability records suggest “people with back pain are reporting more functional and work limitations, rather than less.” They are just two of many respected doctors who believe there are questions about the effectiveness of spinal injections over the other non-invasive medical alternatives available, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), physical therapy, and other supervised therapies that can be used to treat back pain.
  • Providers don’t always have the training to perform spinal injections. Some figures suggest that, even though the numbers of spinal cord injections continue to increase annually, as many as one in five doctors are not properly trained to perform the medical procedure.

If you are considering spinal injection therapy for pain relief and have concerns about how it might affect you, don’t hesitate to talk with your doctor about what to expect, the risks, and why it was chosen over other potential treatments. For some patients, spinal injection therapy may be a good choice and provide the relief they need.

The Potential Risks of Spinal Injection Therapy for Back and Leg Pain

The risks of undergoing spinal steroid injection can vary based on the condition being treated, the exact drug being injected, and the technique used in the therapy. However, here are some potential risks of spinal injections:

  • Nerve damage
  • Paralysis
  • Strokes
  • Infections, such as fungal meningitis, which can spread through contaminated injection needles
  • Arachnoiditis, a painful condition that occurs when the membranes surrounding the nerves in the spinal cord become inflamed, which causes bladder dysfunction and nerve damage
  • Hemorrhages or nerve death when the injection needle misses its intended location and drugs are put into spinal fluid or arteries
  • Issues with preservatives found in the steroids clogging tiny blood vessels that feed the spinal cord

Because these injections have not proven to be effective in treating back pain when compared to the risks, medical providers across the country are pushing for safer and less invasive methods to relieve back pain. In recent years, efforts have been made to provide safer, particle-free steroids for spinal injections. However, evidence does not show that these drugs are providing any lasting relief compared to the more risky types available.

Getting Help If You Are Injured by an Epidural Steroid Injection

Providing relief from back pain, especially chronic back pain, can be a difficult task for doctors. Unfortunately, what works for one patient may not do much for another patient, and all the risks must be weighed before new therapies are prescribed. However, even when spinal injection therapy is a good option for patients, they should still be informed of the potential risks they face.

If you have been hurt after undergoing spinal injection treatments, you deserve answers about what went wrong. Our attorneys will take the time to understand your situation, answer your questions, and help you understand your legal options—all during a complimentary case evaluation. Under the law, patients who are hurt by medical errors, defective or untested drugs, or potential risks that are overlooked may have the right to pursue compensation for the resulting injuries. We regularly help victims of medical error in Illinois, and we have a long history of success. Talk to us today at 312-332-1400.

Does a Traumatic Brain Injury Have the Same Effect on a Child as it Does on an Adult?

A traumatic brain injury is a medical emergency, and it is an injury that can happen at any age. However, although the injuries and symptoms may be the same, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a child is actually different in many ways from a head or brain injury in an adult. If you are a parent or caregiver, here are some of the most important things you should understand about why brain injuries are a particular concern in children.

Communicating Symptoms of a Concussion or Other Brain Injury

A child might experience the same symptoms of a brain injury as an adult, including:

  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Impaired vision
  • Headache
  • Disorientation
  • Emotional changes

However, these symptoms can be more difficult to detect because children often have an inability to express exactly how they are feeling and where the pain is. For example, a toddler doesn’t necessarily have the words to communicate a feeling like “disorientation,” and it can be extremely difficult for a parent to determine if a baby feels “dizzy.”

Young Brains Are Still Developing

A child’s brain is still developing. Therefore, a concussion or brain injury can have more devastating effects on a child than on an adult. When an adult sustains a concussion in an accident, the effects often show up within weeks of the injury. On the other hand, when a child suffers the same injury, it may take months or even years for all of the effects to show. And, even then, the effects of a brain injury on a child’s development can be unpredictable.

The Long-Term Effects and Care of a TBI in a Child

Children, because they are still developing and have their whole lives still ahead of them, can suffer from different or more severe long-term issues after a brain injury. Studies of the long-term effects of TBI in children show that:

  • Many children with brain injuries struggle with adapting to new, socially complex environments that require behavioral changes. This may include difficulty in adjusting to new situations, like moving on to the next grade in school, learning a new subject, or dealing with changes in family dynamics.
  • Children with brain injuries often suffer mental deficits, such as difficulty processing information, impaired judgment, and delayed reasoning.

Another long-term concern is that, over a lifetime, a child’s brain injury can also be much more expensive to treat. A child may need support and care into adulthood, including medical care, help with school and daily activities, and other ongoing therapies that help make an injured child’s life as full and comfortable as possible.

Getting Help When Negligence Causes a Child’s Brain Injury

Sometimes, traumatic brain injuries are caused by unavoidable accidents. However, many people are injured every year in accidents caused by the recklessness, carelessness, or negligence of others. If you or your child suffered a TBI or concussion injury due to the carelessness or negligence of another party, you should know that the law may allow you to seek financial compensation and hold the negligent person or company responsible for what happened.

If you have questions, contact our experienced lawyers today at Lane Brown today at 312-332-1400 to schedule your free case evaluation. Our personal injury attorneys will examine your case, answer your questions, explain your rights, and help you fight for the compensation you deserve.

When a loved one suffers a traumatic brain injury (TBI), it is a scary and confusing time for everyone involved. Speaking frankly to the medical time and asking questions can help provide clarity and peace of mind. Following are some questions that you should be sure to ask:


What is the severity of the brain injury my loved one received?

Various medical scales assess and describe the degree of injury, and help to determine necessary medical care and potential recovery time for the patient. These scales measure, among other things, eye response, verbal response, and motor response.


What are the most important first steps and how will these things help my loved one?

Asking this question builds clear and open communication between family members and the medical team. Not only does it help to establish a sense of medical accountability for medical care providers, it also helps family members to understand the healing process in its entirety.


What can we, as family members, do to be more helpful?

Family members may wish to bring pictures, clothing, music, and other comfort items from home in order to help the injured person recover more quickly. In addition, medical personnel can help families understand the personal lifestyle changes and additional treatment steps that will be necessary once the injured person goes home.


What daily care tasks can we, as family members, be trained to perform at home?

Depending on the severity of the TBI, family members may be needed to help with bathing, feeding, dressing, and daily at-home therapy. Medical personnel can help families to understand the requirements in addition to providing training.


What therapies are relevant to this particular TBI, and how do we know what to focus on?

Your loved one may need various types of therapy with qualified medical professionals to relearn skills such as eating, walking, talking, and dressing. In addition, family members may be needed to assist with at-home therapy.

Knowing the answers to the basic questions listed above can help provide a measure of peace during an otherwise stressful and overwhelming situation. If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI in an accident, the nationally recognized personal injury attorneys at Lane Brown can help. Contact a Chicago brain injury attorney today at 312-332-1400 for a free consultation. We will review your case carefully and help you to understand your legal options.




Epilepsy has many different causes and affects individuals with varying degrees of severity. Those suffering with brain disorder know it can significantly affect everyday living. Patients are not the only ones who suffer from the condition—loved ones bear the burden, too.

Many times, epilepsy develops after head trauma sustained in a car wreck or some other type of accident. It does not matter how minor the head trauma seems—epilepsy can develop from any Chicago brain injury. With good medical care, many people are able to manage their epilepsy and go on to lead a normal life. However, the disorder does exact a toll on sufferers including:

  • Emotional and behavioral problems may be associated with epilepsy and can cause added stress for individuals and their families.
  • Ongoing medical costs can add up.  Medications, special diets, and surgeries may be needed to treat and control seizures.
  • Service dogs can help those with epilepsy by lying on top of them and holding them still during a seizure. These dogs can cost well over $10,000, and are not typically covered by insurance.
  • Most states do not allow epileptics to drive until a specific amount of seizure-free time has passed.
  • Epileptics may be unable to participate in certain recreational activities because they may trigger an epileptic seizure.

If you, or someone you love, have developed epilepsy as a result of a Chicago car wreck or some other accident, the pain and suffering felt may not be limited to the head injury itself. Symptoms of epilepsy may take months to show after a head trauma, so don’t assume your seizure is a coincidence. Contact a caring, and experienced professional Chicago brain injury attorney at Lane Brown today at 312-332-1400.  We will take the time to examine your case and help you with your next steps toward seeking compensation for your injuries.

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