Transforaminal Infusions and Selective Nerve Root Blocks

What Is a Nerve Root Block?


A nerve root block/transformainal is the injection of a therapeutic steroid and local anesthetic medication under X-ray guidance into the area where the nerve exits the spinal column (nerve root). Nerve root blocks can be used for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Pain relief resulted from nerve root blocks ranges from moderate to long-term. Sometimes, nerve root block is conducted to help the physician determine whether or not surgery will be helpful and if yes, at what level of the spine the surgery should be performed.


Your pain may be improved immediately after a nerve root block. The medication used in nerve block, however, usually takes two or three days to start to have an effect in most people, peaking in about two weeks. If you experience local tenderness after receiving a nerve block, use an ice pack three to four times a day to help alleviate the tenderness. Remember to keep track of the amount of pain relief you have received and how long the relief lasts, because this information may help your physician in determining your next treatment.


Will I Have Restrictions on the Day of the Procedure?


No heat is to be used on the injected area for the remainder of the day. No tub bath, shower, or soaking in water the day of your nerve block as well. You may, however, resume normal diet and medications after the nerve root block procedure unless told otherwise by your doctor.


What Are the Risks of Nerve Root Blocks?


As with all medical procedures, there are potential risks and complications associated with nerve blocks. However, in general, the risk is low and complications are rare. Potential risks and complications that may occur from a nerve root block injection include allergic reactions to the medication, discomfort at the injection site, bleeding, and infections, although very rare.


After receiving nerve root block injections, some patients may also experience side effects such as weakness or numbness that can last for several hours. Patients with diabetes may have a temporary elevation of blood sugar levels.

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Dr. Allen Baidey performing a Surgical Procedure”
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Dr. Allen A. Baidey

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