Lumbar Nerve Root Blocks
What is a Lumbar Nerve Root Block?
Lumbar Nerve Root Block is a safe and effective minimally invasive procedure used to diagnose and treat various sources of lower back and leg pain.
What can Lumbar Nerve Root Blocks Treat?
Lumbar nerve root blocks are primarily used to alleviate pain caused by compressed or irritated spinal nerves in the lumbar region of the spine. Conditions that may benefit from this procedure include:
- Herniated Discs: When the soft inner material of a spinal disc protrudes, it can compress nearby nerves, leading to pain and inflammation.
- Spinal Stenosis: This condition occurs when the spinal canal narrows, causing pressure on the nerves.
- Degenerative Disc Disease: The wear and tear of spinal discs can result in pain due to nerve compression.
- Sciatica: The sciatic nerve, which runs down the back of the leg, can become irritated or compressed, causing sharp pain in the lower back and leg.
- Radiculopathy: This refers to pain that radiates along the path of a pinched nerve, often extending to the extremities.
How is a Lumbar Nerve Root Block Administered?
The procedure is performed in an outpatient setting, ensuring minimal disruption to your daily activities. During the procedure:
- Patient Positioning: You will lie on your stomach on an X-ray table.
- Sterilization: The injection site will be cleaned and numbed with a local anesthetic.
- X-ray Guidance: Fluoroscopy (X-ray guidance) is used to accurately guide the placement of the needle.
- Medication Injection: A combination of a local anesthetic and anti-inflammatory corticosteroid is injected near the affected nerve root(s).
- Recovery: Following the procedure, patients may rest for a short period before being discharged.
What are the Risks?
While lumbar nerve root blocks are generally considered safe, as with any medical procedure, there are some risks involved. Potential risks include:
- Infection: Although rare, there is a slight risk of infection at the injection site.
- Allergic Reaction: Some patients may experience an allergic reaction to the medications used.
- Nerve Damage: In very rare cases, the needle could cause damage to a nerve or surrounding structures.
- Bleeding: Minimal bleeding may occur at the injection site.
If you or a loved one are struggling with chronic lower back or leg pain, don’t let it hinder your life any longer. Take the first step towards lasting pain relief and improved well-being by scheduling an appointment with Dr. Edward Rubinand his team of specialists.