According to a study published in the Spine Journal in October 2016, the risk of developing an infection following a cervical epidural steroid injection is significantly elevated in patients who are undergoing spine surgery.
The risk is higher if the injection is performed six months prior to the surgical procedure and even higher if performed three months prior to the procedure.
Cervical epidural injections are commonly performed in patients with neck pain. The evidence for their efficacy is scant while risk of infection, bleeding, and spinal cord injury are increased.
Patients should be aware of these risks and should consider all the risks and benefits prior to consenting for such procedures.