Nerve Root Block
Nerve roots are the portions of the nerve that run through the spinal canal and exit at each part of the vertebral segment of the spine. The spine is divided into segments based on the nerve roots that branch from each section. A nerve root block is an injection into the affected segment of the spine. The injection is of a steroidal medicine along with a local numbing agent (anesthetic) under the guidance of fluoroscopy (x-ray). When there is pain in the legs or arms that is the result of nerve pain or compression, a nerve root block may be used to provide relief. The nerve root block can be repeated in a few months if relief is experienced.
Nerve Root Block Approach
This is an injection based procedure and does not require an incision. First, the injection site is cleaned and prepared with antiseptic soap or iodine, and a sterile drape is placed around the area. Local anesthetic is then applied to the area. Using fluoroscopic guidance, a needle with the steroidal medicine and a local anesthetic is advanced into the affected spinal segment where the medication is then administered. Last, the skin is cleaned and a Band-Aid placed over the injection site. Blood pressure is monitored for about 30 minutes in the recovery area until it is normalized, and then the patient is free to return home.