Selective Nerve Root Block: Relief From Low Back Pain, Leg Pain, or Disc Herniation

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Root block

What is a Selective Nerve Root Block?

A Selective Nerve Root Block is an injection of local anesthetic and steroid around a specific nerve root. It is used to determine if a specific nerve root is the source of pain and to reduce the inflammation around that nerve.

What can you expect during your visit?

When the procedure is done in the office, you will meet with your doctor in the exam room first. They will go over all the risks and benefits of this procedure. You will be taken to the exam room, placed in the prone position, and a fluoroscopy guidance machine will be brought into position. Your doctor will then numb the area with a local anesthetic and, using live fluoroscopy guidance; will use a spinal needle to inject steroid and a numbing agent onto the specific nerve root. When the procedure is complete, the medical assistant will clean up the skin and place a bandage over the injection site. You will then be placed in a post procedure room for about 10 to 20 minutes and your pain levels will be reevaluated.

When the procedure is done in a facility, you will check into the facility an hour and a half in advance. You will be asked to fast for 6 hours prior to your procedure. You will be brought back and prepped by a nurse on staff. They will insert the IV for the conscious sedation. In the procedure room you will be placed in the prone position and a fluoroscopy guidance machine will be brought into position. Your doctor will then numb the area with a local anesthetic and, using live fluoroscopy guidance; will use a spinal needle to inject steroid and a numbing agent onto the specific nerve root. When the procedure is complete, the medical assistant will clean up the skin and place a bandage over the injection site. You will then be placed in a post procedure room for about 10 to 20 minutes and your pain levels will be reevaluated.

What happens after the injection?

You will be asked not to drive for at least 24 hours after the procedure and you must have a driver drive you home from our office. You may experience numbness in your leg for as long as the local anesthetic lasts, which can be up to 12 hours. The day of and the following day you may feel some discomfort in the injection areas.

How long will the pain relief last?

The duration of the pain relief will be 1 to 6 hours. The steroid may decrease the pain, but could take 3 – 5 days to fully kick in.

Is there anything specific I need to tell my doctor prior to this procedure?

You should tell your doctor if you are pregnant, on blood thinners, diabetic, or if you have any other concerns you would like to address beforehand.

The above information is for general education purposes only. Please ask your doctor specific questions during your visit.

Don’t let chronic pain take over your life. Oklahoma Pain Management can help you find long-term relief from your pain – so you can get back to doing what you love. Schedule an appointment today.