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A Selective Nerve Root Block is similar to an epidural steroid injection but is more specific. Its purpose is to specifically block one or more spinal nerves to decrease pain and determine which nerve is related to your symptoms.

This is done by injecting an anesthetic and anti-inflammatory steroids into the space around the nerve for the nerve block.

Selective Nerve Root Block can be used to evaluate patients with:

  • Radicular pain
  • Stenosis
  • Conditions that may result in nerve root compression

What to Expect

Once you have decided to have the injection:

  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight before the day of your nerve block injection.
  • You can take your regular heart and blood pressure medications on the morning of the nerve block injection with a sip of water.
  • Diabetes medications should not be taken.
  • Discontinue taking anti-inflammatories three days before the nerve block injection.
  • Discontinue taking aspirin products seven days before the nerve block injection.
  • If on blood thinners, call the physician who prescribed the medication to get approval to stop taking them before the injection.

The injection procedure will take about 30 minutes.

  • You will lie on a table in a procedure room.
  • The skin in the area where the injection will be made will be cleaned.
  • The skin is numbed with lidocaine.
  • Using fluoroscopy (live X-ray) for guidance, the physician directs a needle toward the area of the nerve root to be evaluated.
  • The anesthetic and steroid solution is injected.

It is important that you have someone to drive you home:

  • You will be in a recovery room for about 30 minutes.
  • It is common to experience an increase in pain once the numbing medicine wears off.
  • The steroid does not become effective for 24 hours.
  • Activity should be restricted for the first 4-5 days after the injection.
  • You will need to make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your level of pain relief after the nerve block injection.

Leaders in Advanced Spine Procedures

To find out whether you would benefit from artificial disc surgery, make an appointment to visit Texas Back Institute in the Dallas, TX, area for an evaluation. We always reserve surgery as a last resort, so we’ll seek to relieve pain first through conservative treatments such as physical therapy and pain management. If severe pain persists and it is determined that you would benefit from surgery, we can help you determine whether artificial disc replacement is right for you.

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