A selective nerve root injection is a minimally invasive procedure that administers pain medication to a specific nerve root along the spine. There are many openings within the spinal column called foramina that act as doorways for nerve roots to connect to various bones, muscles, and organs throughout the body. Vertebral misalignment or bulging spinal discs can irritate or pinch these surrounding nerve roots, causing pain. For mild herniations, bones spurs, and other complications of the spine, a selective nerve root injection may be recommended to reduce pain and discomfort.
What To Expect
The procedure begins by injecting a local anesthetic into the areas causing pain. Once the injection sites are numb, another needle containing a steroid medication will be injected into the affected nerve roots. Patients may experience some pressure and discomfort during this part of the procedure. The anesthetic within the medication will take effect after 15 seconds, at which point the patient should experience little to no pain. The physician may ask a series of questions regarding the patient's comfort and level of pain to determine whether or not more medication needs to be administered. Once the affected nerve roots have been identified and treated, patients will be bandaged and sent to recover.
If the patient received IV sedation during the procedure, he or she will have to wait until the anesthesia wears off before driving home. A TriState Pain Institute physician may recommend coordinating transportation with a friend or family member to avoid waiting for a long period of time. Patients should avoid strenuous activities for the first 24-48 hours after treatment.