Cervical Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injections

A cervical transforaminal epidural steroid injection (TFESI) is a corticosteroid that is used to relieve neck, shoulder, and arm pain caused by a nerve root in the cervical spine. When the injection is administered from the side where the nerve exits the spine, it is called a transforaminal injection. A TFESI is an effective procedure to put medication near the source of inflammation. 

Step One

Before the procedure begins, the patient will lie face down for optimal positioning. A local anesthetic is used to numb the skin prior to the injection. A doctor will then insert a thin needle into the epidural location. A fluoroscope, which is a type of x-ray that ensures the needle is positioned properly, will be used. A dye will also be used to verify the injection is reaching the correct location. 

Step Two

Once completed, the needle is withdrawn and a bandage is placed over the injection location. In a recovery area, blood pressure, pulse, and breathing will be monitored for up to 40 minutes. Once the vital signs are confirmed to be stable, the patient may go home. 

Step Three

Most patients experience immediate relief, but it can take up to 72 hours before a noticeable improvement is detected. In some cases, additional injections will be required for optimal pain relief.