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Cervical Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection

What is a Cervical Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection?  

A cervical transforaminal epidural steroid injection is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat neck, shoulder, and arm pain caused by compression or inflammation of the nerve roots in the cervical spine. By delivering a steroid-based medication directly into the epidural space around the affected nerve root, this injection can help reduce swelling and alleviate pain. 

How is a Cervical Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection Performed? 

To perform a cervical transforaminal epidural steroid injection: 

  1. 1. The patient is positioned comfortably, and the injection site on the neck is numbed with a local anesthetic. 
  2. 2. Using fluoroscopic (X-ray) guidance, the physician identifies the appropriate cervical vertebra and nerve root level. 
  3. 3. The physician then carefully inserts a thin, slightly curved needle through the anesthetized tissue and into the foramen (opening) where the nerve root exits the spine. 
  4. 4. Contrast dye is injected to confirm the needle is positioned correctly within the epidural space surrounding the nerve. 
  5. 5. Once the placement is verified, a steroid-anesthetic medication mixture is injected to bathe the irritated nerve root and reduce inflammation. 

What Supplies and Medications are Used for a Cervical Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection?  

The key components include: 

  • – Local anesthetic (e.g., lidocaine) to numb the injection site 
  • – Contrast dye to visualize the epidural space 
  • – Corticosteroid medication (e.g., triamcinolone, dexamethasone) to reduce inflammation 
  • – An additional anesthetic (e.g., bupivacaine) to provide short-term pain relief 

The physician selects the specific medications and dosages based on the patient’s individual needs and condition. 

What to Expect After a Cervical Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection? 

After the procedure, the patient may experience some mild discomfort or soreness at the injection site, but this is usually temporary and resolves within a few days. Many patients begin to experience a gradual reduction in neck, shoulder, and arm pain within the first week as the anti-inflammatory effects of the steroid medication take effect. 

Some patients may require additional injections over time to maintain the benefits. The physician will provide instructions on any activity restrictions and schedule any necessary follow-up appointments. Patients should report any concerning symptoms, such as increased pain, numbness, or weakness, to their healthcare provider. 

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