Where is the epidural space?
There is a fluid-filled sac that covers the spine cord called the dura. The space that surrounds the dura is called the epidural space, and it is filled with fat and small blood vessels. When the nerves that travel along this space become irritated, it can lead to pain. This irritation can occur when the discs that normally cushion the spine are damaged or they rub up against the bony structure of the spine.
What is a cervical epidural steroid injection?
It is an injection of an anti-inflammatory steroid medication and local anesthetic deposited into the epidural space in the neck region. The steroid shrinks swelling around the nerve roots and the local anesthetic numbs the inflamed areas and relaxes the muscles around the epidural space. To ensure proper placement of the medication, the procedure may be performed under x-ray.
What is the purpose of the cervical epidural steroid injection?
To treat neck and arm pain that may be due to inflammation of the vertebral disc and / or nerves. However, this will not correct the medical problem causing the inflammation but may improve the level of pain you are experiencing. It is not unusual to need more than one injection to obtain long term benefit. These injections are done in a series of three, usually a month apart if needed.