Cervical Epidural Injection

The cervical spine is the part of the spine in your neck. The spinal cord sits inside a tunnel created by the vertebrae (bones making up the spine). It is also protected by a soft layer of tissue called the dura. The epidural space is the area between the boney canal and the dura layer of the spinal cord. An epidural injection is a procedure to deliver medicine into this epidural space. The medicine may include an anesthetic that will numb the pain and a steroid that can decrease swelling and irritation.

  • Call Your Doctor

    Call your doctor if any of these occur:

    • Severe pain or headache
    • Fever or chills
    • Increased arm weakness or numbness
    • Problems swallowing
    • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, bleeding, or discharge from the injection site

    If you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition

    The cervical spine is the part of the spine in your neck. The spinal cord sits inside a tunnel created by the vertebrae (bones making up the spine). It is also protected by a soft layer of tissue called the dura. The epidural space is the area between the boney canal and the dura layer of the spinal cord.

    An epidural injection is a procedure to deliver medicine into this epidural space. The medicine may include an anesthetic that will numb the pain and a steroid that can decrease swelling and irritation.

    Cervical Spine
    Cervical Spine
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure

    An epidural injection may be done if you have pain in your neck and upper limb that is not responding to conservative treatment, such as oral medicines and physical therapy.

    Damage to local joints or discs of the spine can irritate the nerves exiting the spinal cord. This can cause inflammation around the nerves, which leads to pain. The pain may be in the neck or may travel down to the shoulders and arms, and even to the hands and fingers.

    The injection may provide relief for a few weeks or even a couple months depending on the exact cause of pain.

    This procedure may help manage the pain until the injury that caused the nerve irritation has time to heal.

  • Possible Complications

    Potential problems are rare. But, all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:

    • Increase in pain
    • Bleeding or fluid leakage in spinal canal
    • Infection
    • Spinal headaches
    • Nerve damage
    • Allergic reaction to the medicine used (eg, hives, light-headedness, low blood pressure, wheezing)

    Smoking
    may increase your risk of complications.

    Your doctor may not want to do this injection if you have:

    • Not tried other conservative treatment
    • Had success with conservative treatment
    • Allergies to the local anesthetic, x-ray contrast, or medicines being used
    • Local skin infection

    • An infection (eg,
      flu
      )
    • Bleeding disorder or take blood-thinning medicine
    • Pain that is due to infection or malignancy

    • Uncontrolled
      high blood pressure
      or diabetes

    • Unstable
      angina
      or
      congestive heart failure

    Talk to your doctor about these risks before the procedure.