Thoracic Transforaminal Epidural Access

  • Alan Gonzalez Cota


Background: Thoracic transforaminal epidural steroid injections (Thoracic TF-ESIs) were developed as an equivalent to lumbar level techniques. They have been received with skepticism and are perceived as technically demanding with an increased risk of complications.

Indications: Thoracic TF-ESIs may be a useful alternative in the treatment of intractable thoracic neuropathic pain, such as radicular pain from disk herniation, posthoracotomy, or postherpetic neuralgia. The current chapter is limited to two advanced access techniques and is not intended to discuss the efficacy or safety of Thoracic TF-ESIs.

Technique: The most studied and popular technique to date is with an oblique approach. The oblique approach is based on an anatomical “box” described in the chapter.

Pitfalls: The trajectory near the pleura and lungs is specific to the Thoracic TF-ESI technique.


Pain Thoracic radiculopathy Thoracic transforaminal Thoracic spinal nerve Epidural steroid injection 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan Gonzalez Cota
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.A.I.M. Interventional Spine DivisionRockvilleUSA
  2. 2.Legacy Pain Management RehabilitationBethesdaUSA
  3. 3.KureSmart Pain ManagementAnnapolisUSA

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