Intrapinal steroids have been recommended for the treatment of sciatica and various other conditions. The procedure is controversial; moreover, evidence suggests that the steroid hormones can be delivered to the site of inflammation more easily by systemic administration. Serious complications that have arisen from the procedure are reviewed. The courses of two women who received intraspinal steroids for the treatment of sciatica and who developed severe meningitis as a consequence are reported. It is suggested that the value of intraspinal steroids in the treatment of disc-related sciatica is unproven and if they are used, one must be alert to the complications.