Complications of Fluoroscopically Guided Cervical Interlaminar Epidural Steroid Injections

Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2020 Aug 26;24(10):63. doi: 10.1007/s11916-020-00897-1.


Purpose of review: Cervical interlaminar epidural steroid injection is a common intervention in the management of cervical radiculitis. Given the large number of injections done annually, it is important to assess the potential complications associated with this procedure.

Recent findings: Based on current published studies, the overall complication rate varies. The vast majority are minor complications. However, this review also identified potentially catastrophic complications following cervical interlaminar epidural steroid injections. Based upon our review, cervical epidural steroid injection is considered a safe intervention. Nevertheless, catastrophic complications such as spinal cord injuries from needle placement, infections, and epidural hematoma can occur. It is prudent to take appropriate measures to minimize these complications.

Keywords: Cervical epidural steroid injection; Cervical interlaminar epidural injection; Cervical radiculitis; Epidural abscess; Epidural hematoma; Spinal cord injury.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cervical Vertebrae / drug effects*
  • Cervical Vertebrae / surgery*
  • Fluoroscopy / methods
  • Humans
  • Injections, Epidural / adverse effects*
  • Injections, Epidural / methods
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / etiology
  • Steroids / administration & dosage
  • Steroids / adverse effects
  • Steroids / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Steroids