Lumbar Sympathetic Nerve Block
A lumbar sympathetic nerve block is an injection of anesthetic (numbing agent) and steroid (anti-inflammatory) into the sympathetic nerves of the low back to relieve lower back or leg pain. Used most often to treat symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) or reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD).
- You will be asked to hold aspirin and other blood thinning medications. Clearance may be required from your physician.
- Food and drink restrictions will be implemented.
- Anxiety reducing medication may be prescribed and sent to your preferred pharmacy with instructions given for taking the day of the procedure.
- You will be asked to have a driver available to get you home safely post procedure.
- You will first be taken to the pre-procedure area where we will take your vital signs, have you sign the consent form, and answer questions about the procedure.
- Once in the procedure area, your skin will be cleaned with antibacterial soap and medications will be prepared.
- The procedure typically takes about 15 minutes
- It will be carried out using x-ray guidance.
- Your vital signs will be monitored and staff will walk you through all aspects of the procedure as they are happening.
- You will be allowed to leave 10-30 minutes post procedure or as determined safe by staff.
- Temporary numbness or weakness in your arms or legs may occur due to the anesthetic being injected along the nerve roots.
- You will be given written discharge instructions to refer to post procedure
- Rest and limiting strenuous activity for a few days is typically recommended
- Ice and medications previously used for pain may be used immediately and for the next few days as needed.
- Pain relief typically occurs 3-10 days post injection. Although you may notice improvement sooner. Multiple injections may be necessary for maximum improvement.
- Follow up with your referring provider to document your response and discuss your treatment plan.