We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Caudal Epidural?

By C. Stoliecki
Updated Feb 18, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A caudal epidural, sometimes called caudal epidural anesthesia, refers to the administration of pain medication into the portion of the spinal canal known as the caudal canal. The caudal canal is an extension of the epidural space, which is a narrow opening towards the outer portion of the spinal canal. Generally, the pain medication delivered by a caudal epidural is a local anesthetic, although in some cases, steroids are used. Administering a local anesthetic or a steroid to this region prevents the nerves that reside in the caudal canal from transferring a pain message to the brain, which prevents patients from feeling any unpleasant sensations. Typically, a caudal epidural is used to numb patients below the naval.

Caudal epidural injections of local anesthetic pain medication are used to prevent pain during and after surgical procedures in the lower area of the body such as the legs, groin and pelvic regions. It is safe for use in all people including children and the elderly. Caudal epidurals are also often used to deliver steroid injections. Steroid injections into the caudal canal have generally been recognized as an effective method of relieving the lower leg pain that is associated with conditions such as lumbar spinal stenosis, which occurs when the spinal canal contracts and results in the constriction of the spinal nerves.

The caudal epidural originated in Paris in 1901 when Jean-Anthanase Sicard and Fernand Cathelin—working independently of each other—discovered spinal anesthesia. Cathelin went on to find that anesthesia administered into the caudal canal was very safe and also very effective at relieving pain in the lower extremities. Later, the caudal epidural became a popular method to treat pain experienced by women during natural childbirth and childbirth requiring the surgical practice known as the Caesarean section. Using an epidural during childbirth dates to 1909 when a German obstetrician named Walter Stoeckel introduced the procedure into his practice.

Pain medication can be delivered in the form of a one-time injection or it can be delivered continuously. Continuous caudal injections deliver pain medication to the caudal canal in measured, repeated doses. This type of caudal epidural is often used when pain relief is needed for an extended period of time, such as during a surgical procedure or childbirth. Robert Hingson, James Southworth and Waldo Edwards—who all worked at a United States Marine hospital—are credited as having developed the technique required to deliver continuous pain medication to the caudal canal in 1942.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.