What is a Lumbar Sympathetic Block?

Lumbar Sympathetic Block is an injection of Local anesthetic in the “sympathetic nerve tissue” this tissue is located on either side of the spine. The injection may reduce pain, swelling, color, and may improve mobility. Lumbar Sympathetic Blocks are used in the treatment of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, (RSD), and Shingles.

The actual injection only takes a few minutes and it consists of local anesthetic. The procedure involves inserting a needle through the skin and into deeper tissues. The procedure is performed under fluoroscopy (X-ray guidance) so we know the exact placement of the needle. Most of the patients receive intravenous sedation to make the procedure easy to tolerate.

Close after the injection you may feel your lower extremity getting warm, you should also start to notice that the pain is decreased. You may feel some temporary weakness or numbness in the leg.

For each patient we will perform one trial Lumbar Sympathetic Block. If this injection was a success we will schedule the patient for a series usually consisting of six, depending on the patient.

This procedure is safe. However, with any procedure there are risks, and or side effects. The most common side effect of this procedure is a temporary increase in pain. Fortunately the serious side effects are uncommon.


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