This injection relieves pain in the neck, shoulders, and arms caused by a pinched nerve (or nerves) in the cervical spine. It can be used to treat conditions such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and radiculopathy.
The procedure is performed with the patient lying face down or face up to expose the neck. The patient may be sedated but awake during the procedure. A region of skin and tissue of the neck is numbed with a local anesthetic delivered through a small needle.
Inserting the Needle
The physician uses an x-ray device called a fluoroscope to guide a needle to the painful area of the neck. The needle is inserted into the neural foramen space, which is the region through which spinal nerves travel.
Confirming the Needle Placement
Contrast dye is injected into the space to make sure the needle is properly positioned near the irritated nerve or nerves.
Injecting the Medication
An anesthetic solution is injected into the foramen space, bathing the irritated nerve.
End of Procedure and After Care
The needle is removed and a small bandage is applied. Some patients may need only one injection, but two or three injections may be neededto provide significant pain relief.