One of the causes of pain that patients feel in their hands and feet is due to irritation of one or more of the nerve roots.
The purpose of Nerve Root Block injections is to block one or more of the spinal nerves by injecting an anaesthetic and anti-inflammatory steroid into the space around the nerve. It is similar to an epidural steroid injection.
This procedure is also be used to evaluate patients with radicular pain, stenosis and other conditions that may result in nerve root compression.
Before the Procedure
- Do not eat anything 6 hours before your injection. Have water up to 2 hours before.
- You can take your regular heart and blood pressure medications on the morning of the injection with a sip of water. Diabetes medications should not be taken.
- Stop taking anti-inflammatories three days before the injections
- Stop taking any asprin products seven days before the injections
- If on blood thinners – contact your doctor or the person who prescribed the medication to get approval to stop taking them before the procedure.
During the procedure
- The procedure is done under sedation which is a light anesthetic- so you will not feel any pain
- You will like on a table in the procedure room
- The skin in the are where the injection will be made will be cleaned and numbed.
- Using fluoroscopy (live X-ray) for guidance, your consultant will direct a needle toward the area of the nerve root to be evaluated
- The anesthetic and steroid solution is injected. The injection procedure takes about 30 minutes.
After the procedure
- You will be in the recovery room for about 30 minutes after the injection
- It is important that you have someone to drive you home.
- It is common to experience an increase in pain once the numbing medication has worn off
- The steroid does not become effective for 24 hours
- Activity should be restricted for the first 24 hours after the injection
- You will need to make a follow up appointment with your consultant to discuss your level of pain relief after the injection.