Cervical transforaminal epidural injections are used to place local anesthetics and/or corticosteroids directly near the source of pain and inflammation. The medication is injected in the foramen “tunnel” that the nerve travels through from the spine. Steroid medication is used to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
Cervical transforaminal epidural steroid injections are short outpatient procedures that can be received at a surgery center, hospital, or your doctor’s clinic. You will wear a gown for the procedure. You will be positioned sitting up or lying down. Before you receive the epidural injection, the back of your neck will be sterilized and numbed with an anesthetic. You may receive relaxation medicine before your procedure.
Your doctor will use a live X-ray image (fluoroscopy) to carefully insert and guide the needle to the foramen “tunnel” of the affected nerve. A contrast dye is used to confirm the needle placement. Next, the medication solution is delivered, and the needle is removed.
You will be monitored for several minutes before you can return home. Your doctor will instruct you on how to relieve temporary mild pain at the injection site. It is possible to experience relief with just one injection; however, repeated injections may be necessary.