This injection procedure is performed to relieve neck, shoulder and arm pain related to compression of a nerve root in the cervical spine. Conditions such as herniated discs and spinal stenosis can compress nerves, causing inflammation and pain. The medication injected helps decrease the swelling of nerves.
Vertebra and Nerve Root Located
The physician uses a fluoroscope to locate the appropriate cervical vertebra and nerve root. A local anesthetic is applied to numb the skin.
All the tissue down to the surface of the vertebral transverse process is anesthetized.
The physician slides a thin needle with a slightly curved tip through the anesthetized track.
Foraminal Space Accessed
With the aid of the fluoroscope, the physician carefully guides the needle into the foraminal space near the nerve root.
Contrast Dye Injected
The physician injects a contrast solution and uses the fluoroscope to confirm the correct position of the needle tip.
A steroid-anesthetics mix is injected into the foraminal epidural space, bathing the painful nerve root with soothing medication.
End of Procedure
The needle is removed, and a small bandage is applied. In most cases, the patient will be able to return home the same day.