A nerve block is a minimally invasive spine pain treatment option that has been used for a very long time. When a combination of corticosteroid, anesthetic, and opioid medications are injected near a nerve that is causing pain, the pain signal sent from the nerve to the brain is blocked and pain is no longer felt. Many times, nerve blocks are used to provide patients with acute pain relief while other treatment options, like physical therapy, gradually improve the condition that is causing pain. Minimally invasive nerve block procedures that are performed by the spine specialists at Hope Orthopedics are tailored to meet the individual needs of patients and perfectly fit into a holistic treatment plan geared towards maximum and long-lasting results.
A Nerve Block Procedure at Hope Orthopedics
The spine specialists at Hope Orthopedics take every measure possible to ensure patients are relaxed, comfortable and feel no pain or discomfort during their procedure. Patients are usually given a mild sedative before the procedure. A local anesthetic is administered via injection. The procedure is carried out using the following steps:
- Positioning. Patients lie face down on comfortable pillows and cushions.
- Skin preparation. Alcohol is used to clean the skin. A topical sterilization solution is applied to prevent infection.
- Needle insertion. X-ray guidance is used to place a small needle near the nerve that will be injected.
- Nerve block. The nerve block medications are injected. The nerve becomes numb. Inflammation is reduced.
The needle is removed and the tiny mark it made is covered using a Band-Aid. Total procedure time is approximately 15-45 minutes.
A nerve block is an outpatient procedure. Patients may return home after their spine specialist clears them to do so. This is usually 10-15 minutes after the procedure. A family member or friend is responsible for driving patients home. Patients may walk after their procedure, but should not return to work or perform any activities. After a short 24-hour recovery, patients may return to their normal activities and lives. Pain and soreness may present but are easily controlled by applying ice to the area that was injected and taking over-the-counter pain medications.
Results are seen immediately or shortly after the procedure. Pain and other symptoms decrease. Results are only temporary. As previously mentioned, the purpose of a nerve block is to provide acute pain relief while other treatment options cure the condition that is causing pain. Pain caused by the following conditions can be treated using a nerve block:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal stenosis
- Herniated disc
Patients who are experiencing spine and/or extremity pain and would like to receive an accurate diagnosis and customized treatment plan are encouraged to schedule an appointment with one of the spine specialists at Hope Orthopedics.