Cervical Epidural Steroid Injections involve injecting a steroid into the epidural space of the cervical spinal canal where irritated nerve roots are located. The injected medications include both a long-lasting steroid and a local anesthetic (Lidocaine, Bupivacaine).
The steroid reduces inflammation and irritation, while the anesthetic interrupts the pain-spasm cycle and nociceptor transmission (Boswell 2007). The medicines spread to the most painful levels of the spine, reducing inflammation and irritation. The entire procedure usually takes less than 15 minutes.
A local anesthetic be injected into your skin to make it numb. The epidural needle will then be inserted through the numbed skin and slowly advanced into the epidural space using fluoroscopy (live X-rays) to guide the needle. Once the needle is in the epidural space, a small amount of contrast will be injected under live X-ray to ensure that the medication will spread properly. After this, the corticosteroid will be slowly injected into the epidural space. Once the injection is complete, the needle will be withdrawn and a dressing will be placed over the injection site.