Cervical Epidural Injection
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Reasons for Procedure
- Increase in pain
- Bleeding or fluid leakage in spinal canal
- Spinal headaches
- Nerve damage
- Allergic reaction to the medication used, such as hives, lightheadedness, low blood pressure, or wheezing
- Not tried other conservative treatment
- Had success with conservative treatment
- Allergies to the local anesthetic, x-ray contrast, or medications being used
- Local skin infection
- An infection
- Bleeding disorder or take blood-thinning medication
- Pain that is due to infection or malignancy
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure or diabetes
- Unstable angina or heart failure
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- A physical exam
- Imaging tests to evaluate the spinal structures with x-rays or an MRI scan
- To discuss allergies that you may have to the anesthetic, pain medication, or latex
- Your doctor may ask you to avoid food or drink a few hours before the procedure.
- You will need someone to drive you home after the procedure.
Description of Procedure
Immediately After Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Call Your Doctor
- 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
American Chronic Pain Association http://www.theacpa.org
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://www.orthoinfo.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
The Arthritis Society http://www.arthritis.ca
Cervical epidural. University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health: Radiology Department website. Available at: https://www.radiology.wisc.edu/sections/msk/interventional/Cervical%20epidural/index.php. Accessed March 19, 2012.
Cervical epidural steroid injection. University of California San Diego website. Available at: http://health.ucsd.edu/specialties/cppm/injections/Pages/cervical-epidural-steroid-injection.aspx. Accessed March 18, 2012.
Cervical radiculopathy: Non-operative treatments and cervical epidural steroid injection. Hospital for Special Surgery website. Available at: http://www.hss.edu/conditions%5Fcervical-radiculopathy-nonoperative-treatments-epidural.asp#.VJMhbtLF-So. Accessed March 18, 2012.
Epidermal injections. Radiological Society of North America Radiology Info website. Available at: http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=epidural. Accessed March 18, 2012.
Spinal injections. Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago website. Available at: http://www.ric.org/conditions/spine-and-sports-rehabilitation/spinal-injections. Accessed March 19, 2012
- Reviewer: Teresa Briedwell, DPT, OCS
- Review Date: 12/2014 -
- Update Date: 06/20/2013 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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