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Spondylolisthesis and Labor Epidural

What is Spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis is a condition that involves spine instability where the vertebrae move more than they normally do. In this condition, a vertebra moves out of place and slips onto the vertebra below. This puts pressure on a nerve which can then cause lower back or leg pain.

This condition occurs in 4-6% of the adult population. It’s a painful condition, but it is treatable in most cases. Spondylolisthesis can be treated by surgical and therapeutic methods. The most popular treatment for spondylolisthesis are epidural steroid injections. 

Spondylolisthesis and Labor Epidural

Spondylolisthesis and labor epidural are associated since they are both related to back pain. An epidural steroid injection includes a corticosteroid and an anesthetic as a numbing agent. The treatment is applied into the epidural space of the spine, which is located between the bony vertebra and the dura sac around the cord and spinal nerves.  

Once the epidural steroid injection finds its target, the numbing effect will wear off within a few hours, and as the numbing agent disappears, the pain may temporarily come back. After 24-48 hours, you will be able to get the permanent relief that comes with the treatment. 

The injection helps reduce inflammation and the pain relief it offers can last up to years. This allows your spinal condition to improve in time with an exercise program and physical therapy.

What to Expect from Labor Epidural for Spondylolisthesis

Before getting labor epidural for spondylolisthesis, it’s important to know what to expect from the treatment. Here’s how spondylolisthesis and labor epidural work:


Before the treatment, your doctor will ask you about your medical history or any allergies, current medications, and possible risks associated with the epidural steroid injection. It’s also important to tell your doctor whether or not you’re pregnant, nursing, or planning to be pregnant. 

Your doctor will also review any necessary preoperative preparations. 

Before the operation, make sure to have someone drive you back home since you won’t be able to drive after the treatment. Also, make sure to wear comfortable clothing, so it will be easier for you to take it off and put it back on after the procedure.


The area in your skin where you will be injected will be cleaned and disinfected with an antiseptic. Your doctor will inject the anesthetic to numb the area. He may also apply a cold spray on your skin before placing the needle for the anesthetic, so you can handle the pain better.

The procedure may cause discomfort, but with the anesthetic, you shouldn’t feel much pain. Your doctor will then insert the needle on the epidural space and slowly release the cortisone and numbing agent.


The effect of the injection will take a few days, but it shouldn’t take longer than 5-7 days. It’s important to keep in mind that every patient is different.

If you believe that a labor epidural injection can help you, make sure to consult your doctor first to confirm if it is indeed your best option.