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Complications of Cervical Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injections

Benny, Benoy MD; Azari, Pari MD; Briones, Dean RN

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: July 2010 - Volume 89 - Issue 7 - p 601-607
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e3181e2d07c
Literature Review: Spine

Benny B, Azari P, Briones D: Complications of cervical transforaminal epidural steroid injections.

Although cervical transforaminal epidural steroid injections are used in the treatment of radicular pain, there are a number of major and minor complications reported in the medical literature. These complications are limited to retrospective studies, retrospective survey studies, case reports, and data obtained from studies evaluating the benefit of cervical transforaminal steroid injections. Thus, the data are limited in value with regard to identifying evidence-based recommendations for future research. We aim to review and critically evaluate literature focusing on the incidence and clinical presentations of major complications associated with cervical transforaminal steroid injections. The goal of this review is to identify pertinent journal information that aids in the improvement in clinical care and guides future research by increasing the awareness of the potential major complications associated with this procedure and their presentations.

From the Department of PM&R, Baylor College of Medicine (BB, PA), Houston, Texas; and The Methodist Hospital (DB), Houston, Texas.

All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to: Benoy Benny, MD, Baylor College of Medicine, Department of PM&R, 1709 Dryden Road, Suite 12–65, Houston, TX 77030.

Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors or by any individuals in control of the content of this article.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.