8. CPT codes 64400-64530 describe injection of anesthetic agent for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes, the codes being distinguished from one another by the named nerve and whether a single or continuous infusion by catheter is utilized. All injections into the nerve including branches described (named) by the code descriptor at a single patient encounter constitute a single unit of service(UOS). For example:
(1) If a physician injects an anesthetic agent into multiple areas around the sciatic nerve at a single patient encounter, only one UOS of CPT code 64445 (injection, anesthetic agent; sciatic nerve, single) may be reported.
(2) If a physician injects the superior medial and lateral branches and inferior medial branches of the left genicular nerve, only one UOS of CPT code 64450 (Injection, anesthetic agent; other peripheral nerve or branch) may be reported regardless of the number of injections needed to block this nerve and its branches.
Caudal epidural steroid injections involve injecting a steroid into the epidural space, where the irritated nerve roots are located. The caudal injection is performed through the sacral opening and is used to treat low back pain. This injection includes both a long-lasting steroid and an anesthetic (lidocaine, bupivacaine). The steroid reduces inflammation and irritation, while the anesthetic interrupts the pain-spasm cycle and nociceptor transmission (Boswell 2007). The medicines spread to the most painful levels of the spine, reducing inflammation and irritation. The entire procedure usually takes less than 15 minutes.
The following patients should not have this injection: if you are allergic to any of the medications to be injected, if you are on a blood-thinning medication (. Coumadin, injectable Heparin), or if you have an active infection going on. With blood thinners like Coumadin, your doctor may advise you to stop this for 4-7 days beforehand or take “bridge therapy” with Lovenox prior to the procedures. Anti-platelet drugs like Plavix may have to be stopped for 5-10 days prior to the procedure. Aspirin should be stopped for cervical procedures for 10 days prior, but not for Lumbar.