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nerve block

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671

Anyone had a nerve block? If so, what is your experience? Not talking epidural, but a nerve block at the nerve root.

This is in relation to foot pain with l5/s1.

Thank you!


  • Hi mshowe!

    Yes, I had one - well two actually - about 7 weeks ago. Mine were bilateral and at L5/S1 and for back pain.

    You don't say much about your condition, so I'll just explain what they did to me.

    They place you into the supine position (mine was on my stomach with a pillow raising my spine a little), then using fluoroscopy, they find the nerve and inject a mixture of anaesthetic and corticosteroid. All this is done, having properly anaesthetised the skin etc, so you shouldn't feel any pain. You know it's worked when you feel it shoot down into your leg!

    After the injection, your leg(s) becomes numb, in as much as it's impossible to actually walk on it! I had bilateral blocks and felt like bambi for a few hours! It's the strangest feeling, but I have to stress, at no time was it painful.

    I hope that helps.

    Bye, Val

    For more information, this explains it in depth!

  • Depending on how your doctor does it, it is pretty much the same as an ESI, except for the location of the placement of the needle, and the amount of numbing agent that is used.

    Again, depending on the doctor, you will be asked to walk around while the area is numb to see if you can replicate the pain, and you will be instructed to keep a pain journal. The numbing agent will gradually wear off and you will need to be aware of any increase in pain.

    You can read about it here:


    You may or may not get quite a rush when the nerve reacts to the medicine when it is injected. I have had it both ways. Some doctors allow their patients to have a twilight anesthetic for the procedure. My old doc did; my new doc does not.
  • I've had many nerve root sleeve blocks for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Sometimes I could not walk for about 30-45 minutes after, sometimes I could. The goal is for you to still be able to walk. One of the docs who did injections on my stated that steroids on a nerve root often irritate the nerve more, so did not do that. But, oh, the bliss of nerve pain freedom for that short time!!!

    If the numbing medicine injected into the nerve root sleeve takes away 100% of your pain in that dermatone(the area of the body controlled by that nerve), I was told that means there is compression on that nerve. So, it was used for me to find out exactly which levels were the real pain generators.

    One injection that I had hurt bad-but by that time, I had developed arachnoiditis(clumping of the nerve, scar tissue, blood vessel) and the blood vessel was knicked so I had a funny taste in my mouth from the dye.

    I've had sedated injections as well as no sedation. While I always prefer sedation at the center, when it wasn't available I just took extra valium(per doc order.) No sedation really isn't that bad unless you have increased pain laying on your stomach.

    Recovery is not as bad as an epidural, for me, just an increase in a pressure like feeling in my back. The emotional part for me was the worst-having that short relief from nerve pain(30-45 minutes) and then have it back was always hard. However, like I said, it then indicated exactly which levels had compression.

    I wish you luck. If this is to determine your pain generator for surgery, I hope you get the answer you need. Please post an update for us.
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