What are the possible adverse effects of cervical disc disease?

Updated: Apr 16, 2020
  • Author: Michael B Furman, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Dean H Hommer, MD  more...
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Adverse effects include those from anesthesia, corticosteroids, and radiologic contrast dye.

  • Blood clotting parameters should be drawn prior to injection in patients with suspected bleeding diathesis. Indeed, spinal cord compression could result if bleeding occurs in the presence of relative spinal stenosis (ie, midsagittal diameter less than 12 mm) in which little room exists to accommodate an epidural hematoma.

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including aspirin, should be discontinued prior to the procedure in accordance with their half-life and hematologic profile.

  • Other potential risks include seizure, vertebral artery spasm, infection, temporary quadriparesis from anesthetic, and respiratory arrest.

  • One study, however, suggested that selective cervical nerve blocks carry low morbidity when performed under contrast-enhanced fluoroscopic guidance.

  • In any event, proper patient monitoring and emergency equipment always should be present.

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