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This is a rare complication that may occur if a small hole is made in the fibrous sac and does not close up after the needle puncture. These small holes are only made in less than 1% of epidural injections and usually heal on their own. The spinal fluid inside can leak out, and when severe, the brain loses the cushioning effect of the fluid, which causes a severe headache when you sit or stand. These types of headaches occur typically about 2-3 days after the procedure and are positional - they come on when you sit or stand and go away when you lie down. If you do develop a spinal headache, it is OK to treat yourself. As long as you do not feel ill and have no fever and the headache goes away when you lay down, you may treat yourself with 24 hours of bed rest with bathroom privileges while drinking plenty of fluids. This almost always works. If it does not, contact the radiologist who performed the procedure or your referring physician. A procedure (called an epidural blood patch) can be performed in the hospital that has a very high success rate in treating spinal headaches.
Cervical epidural steroid injection procedures are injections administered to relieve pain in the neck, shoulders and arms caused by a pinched nerve or inflamed nerve(s) in the cervical spine. Conditions such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis or arthritis can compress and pinch nerves, causing inflammation and pain. The cervical epidural steroid injection procedure involves injections into the surrounding area that help with pinched nerve pain management and decrease the swelling of the inflamed or pinched nerve(s), in addition to reducing inflammation. Although rare, risks of the cervical epidural steroid injection procedure may include infection, allergic reaction to the medication, spinal headache, nerve damage, and prolonged increase in pain.