Cervical translaminar epidural steroid injection

The needle should always be advanced slowly over short distances with frequent monitoring by fluoroscopy. The operating practitioner needs to be aware to move his hands out of the path of the x-ray beam when using intermittent fluoroscopy. The needle tip position can be determined by tissue feel (soft tissue vs bone), fluoroscopic visualization [lateral, oblique and AP planes] and using radiopaque contrast. Fluoroscopic localization requires an AP and lateral of the needle or one fluoroscopy view and contact with an identifiable bony landmark. Contacting bone during the procedure offers a unique opportunity to know needle tip position.

The three routes of entry to the epidural space are Caudal , Interlaminar , and Transforaminal . All are actively practiced today and have their own unique risks and benefits.  The superiority of one route over the others is controversial because of documented as well as perceived differences in efficacy and safety. 9 Evidence-based guidelines have been drafted by the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians in an ongoing project with continuous updates. For the current management of chronic low back or radicular pain, Interlaminar ESIs offer strong short-term relief and limited long-term relief; Caudal and Transforaminal ESIs provide strong short-term relief and moderate long-term relief.  All techniques have limited benefit in managing post laminectomy syndrome and spinal stenosis. 6

An assessment by the BlueCross BlueShield Association Technology Evaluation Center (BCBSA, 2014) stated: "The choice of bone material for interbody fusion in [anterior cervical discectomy and fusion] ACDF has important clinical implications. Allograft bone has several drawbacks, including a minute (albeit unproven) risk of infectious disease transmission; possible immunological reaction to the allograft; and possible limited commercial availability of appropriate graft material. In contrast, the use of autograft bone in ACDF has potentially substantial morbidities at the harvest site, generally the iliac crest. These include moderate-to-severe, sometimes prolonged pain; deep infection; adjacent nerve and artery damage; and increased risk of stress fracture. Although there may be slight differences between autograft and allograft sources in the postoperative rate of union, clinical studies have demonstrated similar rates of postoperative fusion (90%–100%) and satisfactory outcomes for single-level, anterior-plated ACDF using either bone source. Thus, the choice of graft material involves a trade-off between the risks specific to autograft harvest versus those specific to use of allograft material."

Epidural steroid injections are commonly prescribed for patients with a disc injury or spinal arthritis causing nerve irritation, and generally consist of local anesthetic (numbing medication such as lidocaine) and cortisone (a steroid that reduces inflammation and pain). Lidocaine is often injected initially so patients experience minimal, if any, pain during the procedure. The injection may be performed by placing the needle posteriorly between the spine bones (Translaminar or interlaminar) and injecting the medicine into the space around the spinal nerves. A transforaminal ESI means the injection is placed slightly to one side of the spine, and the medicine is injected near the ruptured disc and inflamed spinal nerve. A caudal ESI is performed by placing the needle near the tailbone, and injecting the medicine into the region of the sacral nerves and lower lumbar spinal nerves. Epidural steroid injections, as well as most spinal injections, are performed using a special x-ray guidance system called fluoroscopy. This allows the doctor to immediately see an x-ray image on a television screen and inject the medicine precisely into the right spot. The procedure time is often less than 10-15 minutes.

Cervical translaminar epidural steroid injection

cervical translaminar epidural steroid injection

Epidural steroid injections are commonly prescribed for patients with a disc injury or spinal arthritis causing nerve irritation, and generally consist of local anesthetic (numbing medication such as lidocaine) and cortisone (a steroid that reduces inflammation and pain). Lidocaine is often injected initially so patients experience minimal, if any, pain during the procedure. The injection may be performed by placing the needle posteriorly between the spine bones (Translaminar or interlaminar) and injecting the medicine into the space around the spinal nerves. A transforaminal ESI means the injection is placed slightly to one side of the spine, and the medicine is injected near the ruptured disc and inflamed spinal nerve. A caudal ESI is performed by placing the needle near the tailbone, and injecting the medicine into the region of the sacral nerves and lower lumbar spinal nerves. Epidural steroid injections, as well as most spinal injections, are performed using a special x-ray guidance system called fluoroscopy. This allows the doctor to immediately see an x-ray image on a television screen and inject the medicine precisely into the right spot. The procedure time is often less than 10-15 minutes.

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