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Does a good response to a nerve root block DEFINITELY mean that the nerve root is the source of my p

PaininfootPPaininfoot Posts: 35
I have had the most excruciating pain on the sole and arch of my foot for a year. I spent six months going to various foot specialists and having MRIs etc of the foot only to be told there was nothing wrong with it . Then a pain management specialist indicated that the source of the pain was probably in my back . He did a series of diagnostic nerve root blocks on the L5 S1 nerves. The first didn't work at all but the second and third made me virtually pain free for four amazing months . Then it came back so he did another one and this worked for a couple of weeks. I just had a Microdiscectomy on tbe L5 S1 area but this has not changed the pain in my foot at all which is excruciating. My question is : Is the fact that two/three of the four nerve blocks were so successful DEFINITELY prove that the source of my pain is in my back. If it were in the smaller nerves of my foot for example , if one was trapped by a small bunion I have, would the pain still be stopped by the nerve root block ? Could someone please explain in laymans terms what the positive nerve block outcome indicates with regard to the source of my pain ?
Thanks so much !


  • A specific nerve as being the source of the pain. So in this case, yes, it would be confirmed that the foot pain stems from that nerve root.
    If I recall, you recently had a MD , and the nerve pain has flared since surgery. This happens because the tissues and nerves are irritated during surgery as they are moved, retracted away from the surgical area, as well as it being inflammed prior to the surgery. It should settle down again, with time, and disappear as long as there was not permanent damage done prior to the surgery.

  • Thank you so much for your reply - just so I understand , if the foot pain had a local cause ( eg local nerve Inflamation or entrapment in the foot itself) then the nerve block would NOT have been successful . Is that right ?
  • sandi123ssandi123 Posts: 456
    edited 06/11/2015 - 4:33 PM
    If it was another nerve then the block would not have relieved the pain.

  • PaininfootPPaininfoot Posts: 35
    edited 06/11/2015 - 8:04 PM
    For example , a nerve pinched by a bunion , would the nerve block of L5S1 have relieved the pain ? I am not convinced that my problem is at the nerve root and am thinking it is maybe more local to the foot itself . Does the fact the nerve block worked then exclude any problems of the foot and indicate the source is higher up in back ? Thanks for your help .
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