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Cervical & Lumbar Transforaminal Epidural Injections NJ

Bedminister & Newton, NJ


At the New Jersey Spine Institute, all of our procedures are performed by a team of two Board Certified Orthopedic Spine Surgeons to maximize relief and minimize your recovery time.

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If you live with chronic pain caused by the compression or irritation of spinal nerves, you know what a significant impact this can have on your overall quality of life. In severe cases, a surgical solution may offer the best path forward but, at New Jersey Spine Institute, our world-class team of doctors is also committed to developing comprehensive treatment plans that integrate less invasive treatment approaches whenever possible.

One such approach involves the use of transforaminal epidural injections. Safe and minimally invasive, transforaminal epidural injections can ease pain and reduce the nerve root inflammation associated with a wide variety of different spinal conditions.

Seeking a lasting solution for chronic pain and wondering if transforaminal epidural injections might be a viable option based on the specifics of your particular situation and treatment goals? Our exceptional team of doctors is available to answer all of your questions and develop a personalized treatment plan that will put you on the fastest road to recovery. Contact us at New Jersey Spine Institute today to book an appointment today!

Your initial consultation will include an all-inclusive review of prior conservative and surgical treatment along with a comprehensive physical examination to develop an accurate diagnosis

What Is a Transforaminal Epidural Injection?

A transforaminal epidural injection is a minimally invasive treatment in which a combination of anesthetic and steroid medications is injected into the epidural space. The epidural space refers to the area around the dura (the protective membrane that surrounds and protects the spinal cord and its nerves) and is located between the spinal cord and the spinal column. A transforaminal epidural injection precisely targets the area around a specific nerve root in order to reduce irritation and discomfort. While the anesthetic provides pain relief in the short term, the steroid medications reduce inflammation (the underlying cause of pain) over the longer term.

Transforaminal epidural injections are performed using fluoroscopy, a type of continuous X-ray imaging that allows for precise visualization of the treatment area. A needle is inserted into the epidural space via an opening in the side of the spine known as a foramen (plural foramina), through which nerve roots exit the spinal column. Transforaminal epidural injections can be performed in the cervical (neck) or lumbar (lower back) regions of the spine and, much less commonly, in the thoracic (middle back) region. A series of injections repeated every several months may be recommended for optimal treatment outcomes.

What’s the Difference Between Transforaminal Epidural Injections and Other Epidural Injections?

While all types of epidural steroid injections are administered into the epidural space to address nerve pain and inflammation, transforaminal injections are the only ones that directly target nerve roots in the foramina—the openings through which spinal nerves exit the spinal column. Fluoroscopic X-ray guidance is always used during transforaminal injections to ensure the highest level of precision.

What Do Epidural Injections Treat?

Transforaminal epidural injections can be used to effectively treat a wide range of different conditions, including:

  • Chronic back or neck pain
  • Sciatica and pinched nerves
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Foraminal stenosis
  • Herniated disc(s)
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Bone spurs
  • Scoliosis
  • Arthritis in the spine
  • Spondylolysis
  • Spinal nerve damage

Known Risks and Side Effects

Transforaminal epidural injections are generally considered to be a safe and highly effective treatment option. However, like any treatment, they can involve potential risks and side effects. These may include:

  • Mild pain or irritation near the injection site
  • Temporary numbness or weakness in the legs
  • Temporary dizziness or headache

These are the most common side effects associated with transforaminal injections and typically clear up within a few hours after the procedure.

Less commonly, patients may experience:

  • Insomnia
  • Water retention
  • Increased heart rate
  • Abdominal cramping

These side effects typically resolve within 1-3 days after the procedure.

In extremely rare cases, patients may experience more severe side effects after receiving a transforaminal injection. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience symptoms of:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Nerve damage

Speak directly with your doctor to learn more about any potential risks or side effects that may be related to your specific medical situation.

Preparing To Receive a Transforaminal Epidural Injection

At New Jersey Spine Institute, our highly experienced team will provide you with clear information and instructions leading up to your transforaminal epidural injection. You may be asked to refrain from eating and drinking before the procedure and your doctor may also recommend other protocols, such as adjustments to medications, depending on your current health status and the nature of the condition being treated. At New Jersey Spine Institute, your safety and wellness are our number one priorities, and we are always available to respond to any questions or concerns you may have.

What Happens During a Transforaminal Epidural Injection?

Generally, you can expect the following when undergoing a transforaminal epidural steroid injection:

  • You will be comfortably positioned on your stomach on an X-ray table and the treatment area will be cleaned and prepped.
  • Local anesthesia will be injected to numb the treatment area and IV sedation may also be administered, depending on the circumstances.
  • Contrast dye will be injected so that fluoroscopy can be used to precisely guide the injection.
  • A long, thin needle will be inserted and a combination of anesthetic and steroid medications will be injected to target specific nerve roots.
  • The entire procedure will take approximately 30 minutes.

Recovery After Treatment

You will be closely monitored for a short period of time after receiving a transforaminal steroid injection and then can return home. As the anesthetic wears off, you may experience mild soreness near the injection site and should avoid vigorous activity for the rest of the day. Your doctor will provide personalized information about the recovery process based on your particular needs, as necessary.

It usually takes a few days up to two weeks before patients feel the full benefits of a transforaminal epidural injection. The results can last for several months and sets of injections may be recommended on an ongoing basis if the treatment provides effective relief for your symptoms.

Ready to learn more about transforaminal epidural steroid injections as a potential treatment option for chronic back pain? Contact us at New Jersey Spine Institute to book a consultation today!

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