Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI) in the Cervical Spine

An Epidural Steroid injection treats the pain of an inflamed nerve at the top of your spine, or the cervical spine.  If you have a herniated disc, spinal stenosis or another problem that is pressing on a nerve, an ESI may help as it relieves nerve swelling. As the procedure begins, you lie down and may be given a mild sedative to help you relax. You are numbed with an injection of local anesthetic. Next, the physician inserts a needle through this numbed tissue into the epidural space (the space around the inflamed nerve), using an x-ray called a fluoroscopy for guidance. The physician may inject contrast dye to make sure the needle is in the right place. Then the physician injects the medicine which surrounds the painful nerve to relieve pain and swelling. If you have other painful nerves, you may need more than one injection. After your injection, you’ll be watched for a short time, then you can go home. To get the full benefit, you may need to come back for more injections. Your PCA physician will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan.