Intercostal Nerve Blocks
What is an Intercostal Nerve Block?
An Intercostal Nerve Block is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the injection of a local anesthetic near the intercostal nerves, found between the ribs. These nerves transmit pain signals from various parts of the thorax to the brain. By blocking these nerves, we can effectively manage or alleviate pain in the chest, abdomen, or back.
What Can It Treat?
Intercostal Nerve Blocks are useful in treating various conditions, including:
Postoperative Pain: Particularly after thoracic or abdominal surgeries.
Rib Fractures: To manage pain associated with cracked or broken ribs.
Chronic Pain Conditions: Such as intercostal neuralgia or shingles.
Cancer Pain: Pain arising from tumors in the chest or abdomen can be managed.
How is It Administered?
Preparation: The area to be treated is cleaned and a local anesthetic is applied to minimize discomfort.
Guidance: Using ultrasound or fluoroscopic guidance, I’ll locate the exact nerve that needs to be targeted.
Injection: A needle is carefully inserted near the intercostal nerve, and a mixture of local anesthetic and steroids is injected.
Monitoring: After the procedure, the patient is monitored to ensure that the medication is working effectively.
What are the Risks?
Like any medical procedure, Intercostal Nerve Blocks carry some risks, although they are rare. They may include:
Bleeding: At the injection site.
Infection: Proper hygiene minimizes this risk.
Lung Puncture: An extremely rare occurrence
Temporary Numbness: This usually resolves within hours.
If you or your loved ones are experiencing pain that might be alleviated through an Intercostal Nerve Block, don’t hesitate to reach out. Call Dr. Edward Rubins office and set up a consultation to come and speak about the Intercostal Nerve Block.