Pinched nerves located within the cervical spine can cause intense pain and inflammation throughout a patient’s neck, shoulders as well as arms. When a nerve is pinched, it will swell up which is the pain source of pain. In order to diminish the swelling, a medicated injection is used to calm the nerves. Patients who suffer from herniated discs, spinal stenosis or radiculopathy can also benefit from this injection as well.
For the comfort of the patient, he or she will be lying face down during the entirety of the treatment. Depending on the patient or circumstances, an intravenous sedation may or may not be needed. The cervical epidural steroid injection requires the patient to receive local anesthetic to numb the neck’s skin and tissue with a small needle. A Fluoroscopic procedure is performed by the physician to help navigate the needle inside the epidural space where the spinal nerves travel. In order to double check the correct position of the needle, a colored dye is inserted. It is imperative for the needle to be beside the aggravated nerves strictly for full absorption of anesthetic and cortisone mixture. This steroid mixture will lessen the stress and engorgement of the affected nerves. The procedure is completed and a bandage applied to the injection spot. Since anesthesia is used, relocation of the recovery room until the patient wakes up. The patient is allowed to eat and drink once fully alert. When the physician clears the patient to go home, proper instructions are given to avoid complications or infections. Depending on the severity of the pain, a patient may or may not need another injection. If another injection is required, the patient must wait a full two weeks before receiving another treatment.