These case reports indicate fluoroscopic guidance will not insure or prevent intrathecal perforation or spinal cord penetration during the administration of cervical epidural steroid injections. In addition, although intravenous sedations during cervical epidural steroid injections have been used numerous times without reported complications, it appears intravenous sedation in these two cases resulted in the inability of the patient to experience the expected pain and paresthesias at the time of spinal cord irritation. Therefore, the authors conclude that the patient should be fully awake during the administration of cervical epidural steroid injections, with only local anesthetic in the skin used for analgesia.
I have to say that the lifestyle changes come with the condition, regardless, especially where there are painful symptoms to contend with. It may be a false luxury to assume that things can carry on as before, because that is one sure way of continuing aggravation of the spine/nerves and will most likely increase degenerative rates. I think you should be looking at ways to maintain the pain-free state you currently have, rather than wanting to test the problem to its limits. If you don't have an underlying condition like OA or RA etc, then degenerative rates are likely to be slow, just like normal wear and tear rates. Best to protect the neck from any sudden movements/shocks etc. Surgery won't necessarily improve on that, and surgery can be considered at any future stage if things deteriorate. Tghe whole C/S thing would seem to be about manageability whether there has been surgery, or not. And one of the big issues with C/S is that others don't relate to it well because they can't see the problem.....that's an area where we need to be strong and positive about our own needs despite the questioning looks.
Epidural steroid injections are commonly prescribed for patients with a disc injury or spinal arthritis causing nerve irritation, and generally consist of local anesthetic (numbing medication such as lidocaine) and cortisone (a steroid that reduces inflammation and pain). Lidocaine is often injected initially so patients experience minimal, if any, pain during the procedure. The injection may be performed by placing the needle posteriorly between the spine bones (Translaminar or interlaminar) and injecting the medicine into the space around the spinal nerves. A transforaminal ESI means the injection is placed slightly to one side of the spine, and the medicine is injected near the ruptured disc and inflamed spinal nerve. A caudal ESI is performed by placing the needle near the tailbone, and injecting the medicine into the region of the sacral nerves and lower lumbar spinal nerves. Epidural steroid injections, as well as most spinal injections, are performed using a special x-ray guidance system called fluoroscopy. This allows the doctor to immediately see an x-ray image on a television screen and inject the medicine precisely into the right spot. The procedure time is often less than 10-15 minutes.