Lumbar Sympathetic Block

This type of nerve block targets the sympathetic nerves – those that travel across both sides of the spine in the lower back area. These nerves are vital for bodily functions that we are not in manual control of – things like sweat production, blood circulation or digestion. A Lumbar Sympathetic Block involves an injection that numbs branches of sympathetic nerves in the lower back, for a wide variety of issues that may be linked to these nerves.

For the procedure, the patient will lie on their stomach or on their side. They will be given anesthesia via IV to relax or go to sleep for the duration. The skin at the injection point is numbed, and a needle is inserted towards the sympathetic nerves, with the help of a fluoroscope. A steroid is injected that will bathe the nerves in the medication, numbing them and reducing inflammation. In the event that the procedure is being performed to treat pain, this will reduce that pain.

Upon completion, the patient will be monitored for a short while before being sent home. Many experience numbness or weakness in the legs, which may last for a few hours. Depending on the situation, additional injections may be required.

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