What is a peripheral nerve block?
Peripheral nerves are those nerves that are found outside the area of your spine, in the periphery of your body.
What are some examples of peripheral nerves and the painful conditions associated?
- Greater occipital nerve – occipital neuralgia, headaches
- Median nerve – carpal tunnel syndrome
- Ilioinguinal/iliohypogastric/genitofemoral – groin pain/ scrotal pain
- Genicular nerve – knee pain
- Intercostal nerve – intercostal neuralgia, shingles pain over the chest
How is a peripheral nerve block performed?
Some of these injections are done right in the office in the comfort of a recliner. Some nerve blocks are best identified through the assistance of fluoroscopic guidance (x-ray mapping) in our office procedure suite.
Commonly the nerve is injected with a mixture of a long-acting corticosteroid with the addition of a local anesthetic.
What should I expect after my injection?
The local anesthetic might start helping the day of the injection. The corticosteroid might take up to 5 days to start to take effect. If you have some injection site pain you can use ice to help reduce pain, do not use heat until 24 hours after the injection.
How often should I have the injection repeated?
Our goal from doing the injection is that you get long-lasting relief and restoration of your prior function. In general, a nerve injection can be repeated every 3 months.
Are there things I should look for after having this procedure?
Of course, you can call our office for any question you might have, there are certain “red flag” warnings that you should call us, or if after hours you should go to your nearest ER. These would include severe or worsening pain, fever over 101, new or worsening weakness, injection site redness or drainage.