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We describe results of a new ‘two needle technique’ of selective nerve root blocks done through posterior triangle of neck in the management of cervical radiculopathy with 2 year results.

Methods: Patients presenting with cervical radiculopathy were evaluated clinically and radiologically and were initially managed with supervised physiotherapy, analgesics and rest. Selective cervical nerve root block was offered to the patients, who did not respond to conservative management. The procedure was performed as a day case, under local anesthesia, with image intensifier guidance, using ‘two needle technique’. A thinner needle is rail-roaded through the lumen of large diameter guide needle to reach the target nerve root foramen and a mixture of Bupivacaine and Triamcinolone acetonide is injected. The outcome was measured using visual analogue score (VAS) and neck disability index (NDI) done on the day of the procedure and compared to the scores at 3 months and 1 year after the procedure.

Results: Outcome in 30 patients who underwent this procedure over three years’ period is presented. Average Visual Analogue Score was 7.36 (range 6 – 10) before the intervention, which improved to 2.27 (range 0 – 7) at 3 months and 1.9 (range 0 – 4) at 1 year. The average Neck Disability Index score prior to intervention was 66.87 (range 44 to 82), which improved to 31.67 (range 18 – 66) at 3 months and 30.44 (range 20 – 48) at 1 year. There were no major complications noted. We conclude that selective cervical nerve root block using ‘two-needle technique’ is safe and reproducible. The therapeutic effect achieved is long lasting, making this procedure a good alternative to surgical management in patients with cervical radiculopathy who do not respond to conservative management.

Correspondence should be addressed to: Sue Woodward, Secreteriat, Britspine, Vale Clinic, Hensol Park, Vale of Glamorgan, CF72 8JY Wales.