Ultrasound-guided needle placement into the cervical intervertebral discs using a lateral-to-medial approach is reportedly possible. Clinically, however, patients commonly present with very high uncovertebral joints or narrowed intervertebral spaces, making the method difficult or impossible. This report presents a novel ultrasound-guided needle placement technique to the cervical intervertebral discs using a more medial approach between the trachea/thyroid gland and the carotid sheath. A patient presented with neck pain radiating to the right shoulder and right-sided interscapular regions that affected his sleep and daily functioning. Physiotherapy, selective nerve root block, and percutaneous endoscopic right C7 laminotomy did not sufficiently improve his condition, which progressed to bilateral interscapular and bilateral shoulder pain. Provocative discography was performed with injection of leukocyte-poor and red blood cell-poor platelet-rich plasma to provoke the discogenic pain, which was treated with platelet-rich plasma mixed with lidocaine. The patient recovered well. A month later, there was a significant decrease in the neck disability index score from the initial 28/50 to 14, and there was a further decrease to 5 after 2 months. In conclusion, this medial approach of ultrasound-guided cervical disc needle placement is feasible, even in patients where disc access by previously described approaches is impossible.
Keywords: biplanar needle validation; cervicodiscogenic pain; local anesthesia; motor-sparing analgesia; neck pain; platelet-rich plasma; ultrasound imaging; ultrasound-guided cervical intervertebral disc injection.