A nerve root block is a procedure that involves injecting local anesthetic and a steroid into the area where the nerve exits the spinal column to treat pain in the arm or leg that follows the path of a single nerve.
Side Effects and Risks
A nerve root block is a relatively safe procedure. Patients may experience temporary weakness and soreness or numbness at the injection site. Serious and rare complications include bleeding and infection at the injection site, muscle or nerve damage, and allergic reaction. Patients with diabetes may have high blood sugar for a short time because of the steroid medication.LEARN MORE
Who is a Candidate?
A nerve root block may be a good option for patients who have not responded to other treatment.
The procedure is contraindicated for patients with an active infection, fever, flu or cold. Patients with high blood pressure and those taking blood thinners should consider other treatment options.
How to Prepare for the Procedure
Patients should avoid eating or drinking after midnight the night before the procedure. Patients may take medication with a small amount of water, but diabetics may be advised to stop taking their medication for diabetes until the procedure is completed. In addition, patients taking any blood thinners such as Coumadin, Plavix and Warfarin will need to stop taking their medication until after the procedure.LEARN MORE
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