Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection

What is a Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection?

This procedure provides pain relief to the arms, neck and shoulders caused by a pinched nerve (or multiple nerves) in the cervical spine. Illnesses, like  herniated discs and spinal stenosis, can place pressure on the nerves resulting in inflammation and pain from the cervical spine. This pain usually radiates to the neck, shoulders and arms. The injection administers a medication to assist in managing the swelling and aggravation of the nerves.

Cervical Radiculopathy

Also known as “pinched nerve”, this condition occurs when a nerve in the neck becomes irritated or compressed. This pain affects the neck and radiates into the shoulders. This condition also causes weakness in the muscles and sometimes numbness.

What does the procedure look like?

The procedure is done with the patient lying on their back. Intravenous sedation is administered and an area of the neck is desensitized using a local anesthesia through an injection.

Using an x-ray device known as a flouroscope, the physician navigates a larger needle to the affected area of the neck.  The needle is then guided into the epidural space, the area where the spinal nerves traverse.

The contrast dye needle is injected through the epidural space and securely positioned near the inflamed nerve roots.

The fusion of both anesthetic and cortisone steroid solution is infused into the epidural space.  This steroid solution is an anti-inflammatory drug that relieves swelling and inflammation in the affected area. The nerves absorb the solution to combat the swelling and relieve nerve pressure.
 

Once the procedure is complete, the patient is provided food and drink in the recovery room to restore strength. They are then given take-home medications and post-treatment care instructions. While some of the patients that undergo this procedure requires only one injection, some require two or three procedures (usually done weeks apart) for significant pain relief.

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