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Selective Nerve Root Injections

When a nerve root becomes compressed and inflamed, it can cause back pain and leg pain. Selective Nerve Root injections are a procedure in which a mixture of a steroid (cortisone) and a local anesthetic is injected in the vicinity of a nerve root. It is effective in reducing the inflammation in that particular nerve root. In doing so, this helps bring relief to the patient’s pain and allow for more mobility.

This injection is used for therapeutic purposes as well as diagnostic purposes. It helps to determine if particular nerves are inflamed and irritated.

This treatment is especially helpful for patients who have undergone previous back surgery or patients with scoliosis. This procedure is also used in patients who have not benefited from traditional epidural injections. The procedure is not painful and is performed under a local anesthesia. Many describe the injection as a “bee sting” prick. Your procedure begins with an IV line with a small amount of medication to help you relax. You will lie on your stomach allowing your lower back to be sterilized. With the help of fluoroscopy, the area of treatment is located, numbed with lidocaine and a needle is inserted along the nerve root sleeve. A mixture of anesthetic and anti-inflammatory medication is injected. Following your procedure, you will be taken to our recovery room and monitored for 45 minutes before being released.

Conditions that Selective Nerve Root Blocks may help treat:

  • Failed back surgery syndrome - continued pain despite surgery to the spine
  • Radiculopathy – pain that progresses down your arms/hands or legs/feet
  • Stenosis – narrowing of the spinal canal or nerve root exits
  • Bulging or herniated discs
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Sciatica

Preparation for Your Procedure:

  • We require that you have a driver present with you to help drive you after the procedure.
  • IV sedation will be used for this procedure.

Please let our intake staff know if you have any of the following:

  • Abnormal bleeding time, or you are on blood thinners
  • If you are pregnant
  • If you have a skin infection over the site of the procedure
  • Any medicine allergies
  • If you have had this procedure before
  • Any muscular weakness