PURPOSE To investigate long-term pain reduction and 'improvement' in patients with indirect cervical nerve-root-blocks in comparison to MRI findings. MATERIAL AND METHODS One hundred and twelve patients with MRI confirmed cervical radiculopathy and an indirect cervical nerve-root-block were included. Two radiologists independently evaluated the MRI examinations. 12 different MRI abnormalities at the level and side of infiltration were compared to pain relief and 'improvement' at 1-month, 3-months and 1-year post injection. RESULTS The proportion of patients reporting clinically relevant 'improvement' was 36.7% at 1-month, 53.9% at 3-months and 68.1% at 1-year. At 1-month post injection, a statistically significantly lower percentage of patients eventually requiring surgery reported improvement and lower NRS change scores compared to those who did not undergo surgery (p = 0.001). Patients with extrusion of the disc were around 4-times more likely to have surgery. At 1-year post-injection the presence of nerve-root compromise was significantly linked to treatment outcome (p = 0.011). CONCLUSION Patients with nerve root compression were more likely to report improvement at 1 year. Patients with disc extrusions have less pain relief and are 4 times more likely to go to surgery than patients with disc protrusions. KEY POINTS • Good long term outcomes after indirect nerve root infiltrations with non-particulate steroids. • The presence of nerve root compression was a predictive finding of 'improvement'. • Significantly less patients subsequently having surgery had lower NRS scores 1-month post injection. • There is less pain relief in patients with disc extrusions. • There are less improvement in patients with modic type I changes.