Lumbar and Stellate Ganglion Sympathetic Blocks
Injections are in the front of the neck, either to the left or right. Injuries to the shoulder, arm, wrist or hand can even cause odd, burning pain lower in the body.
A stellate ganglion block targets the sympathetic nerves in the neck for pain treatment in the arm, shoulder or face.
The lumbar sympathetic block targets the sympathetic nerves in the lower back for pain typically located in the leg or foot.
During the Stellate Procedure
Using ultrasound for guidance, this procedure only takes a few minutes, with the patient sitting up or lying on their back.
Discomfort during the procedure should be minimal since the injection site is numbed with a local anesthetic using a very thin needle during the performance of the block. Afterward, the patient rests briefly in the office. Most people can drive themselves home, but should take it easy and not return to work or other taxing activities until the next day.
If a patient desires further sedation, that is certainly available. Usually this isn’t necessary and sedation does increase recovery time. Also a patient must then be driven home.
During the Lumbar Procedure
This procedure is somewhat more complex and performed with the patient lying on their stomach on an x-ray table while numbing medication and then steroids are injected into the neck, using fluoroscopic guidance for precise delivery. This procedure can take 30 to 45 minutes depending on the complexity of the condition, with about a 45-minute recovery period.
Discomfort during the procedure should be minimal; however, if a patient desires further sedation, that is certainly available. Usually this isn’t necessary and sedation does increase recovery time. Whether or not the patient is sedated, Dr. Dumitru requires that after a lumbar nerve block, a patient be driven home.
Patients are advised to take it easy and not return to work or other taxing activities until the next day.
Usually these nerve blocks will provide significant relief for individuals who are suffering from the sympathetic pain of injuries to the shoulder, arm, wrist or hand.