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S1 Nerve root block - what to expect?



  • Hi,

    I had a selective nerve root block right up against the S1 nerve about 2 months ago, supposedly to schrink scar tissue from the L5-S1 microdiscectomy last October. The pain went down from a 5 to about a 2 over the next 3 days and has remained around a 2 since then. They injected a little numbing medication locally first but it did not matter, it hurt really bad when the needle was up against the nerve. Good thing it only took about 10 minutes. I had tears in my eyes when I got back out to my car afterwords.
  • Well it has been 5 days since the nerve block and i have no relief yet. Actually my pain has been pretty bad since Friday. Alot of it is weather related i think. (Cold front and rainy) Today i had traction and have been on the ice all day. I don't the traction has helped either. The traction is causing my right side to hurt now. When they give me the next injection they said they would be going lower so maybe that is the lucky spot. lol I have had the nerve block years ago without this twilight they give me now and it was excruciating. They gave me valium for the second one and all it did was make me loopy and i felt the same excruciating pain and cried like a baby for an hour later. The third one i felt nothing. So by the third one everything was numb back there but the pain was still just as strong. This twilight makes a big difference this time. i keep hoping i will get relief but i am losing faith if you know what i mean. Without the twilight is no walk in the park but i will admit it didn't kill me. i survived. i will keep you posted on the next 2 injections.
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  • Thanks for taking the time to write on my blog.

    We all sound very healthy!! all jokes aside it sounds a painfull procedure but worth putting up with 20mins of pain on the table for pain relief abit more long term.

    I saw my GP today and im now on morphine, diazapam, diclofenic and paracetamol for the pain and been signed off work for another month..feeling a bit low now...but will keep chin up.

    Looks like im going to be a regular on here now...this forum and members are helpful...xxx
  • I had two nerve blocks done, but for facet issues. They were only temporary to pinpoint just where the problems were, and once we knew they'd hit the right spot, I had rhizotomies done. The first and second rhizotomies were L2 to S1, bilateral and I got about six weeks relief from them; the third rhizotomy was sections of my C and T spine and again L2 to S1, bilaterally, and I had almost six MONTHS of relief from it.

    Has your doctor talked about this option at all? They may be known as radiofrequency ablation where you are.

    I hope you get relief; I know how miserable the low back pain is. Out of curiosity, so you do any stretching daily?? If not, it would be worth having someone teach you a good but gentle routine; it can really take the edge off. I learned a routine at two residential pain clinics I attended, and have stuck with doing some stretching every day since I was there two years ago.

  • Yeh, NHS isn't too brilliant for speed is it!

    I had a nerve root block for L5/S1 about 5 months ago. Apparently they can work for up to 6 months. Mine was done for diagnostic purposes and numbed my leg for only one day, like csp above.

    Based on this positive sign the ortho surgeon advised that surgery (microdiscectomy) was the best option, so I had that last week. Nerve is obviously still inflamed so I still have the sciatic pain just now

    The nerve root block itself is a fairly sound procedure. Local anaesthetic takes away most of the pain. When I had it done, the doctor inserted the needle into the right area which shows up on the monitor, which you get to see, and wiggled it until I felt a shooting pain down my leg, then he inserted the fluid.

    One funny (although potentially very negligent/dangerous) thing about my nerve root block was that straight after the procedure, the b@stards left me alone to get changed back into my clothes. I was so close to fainting that I fell on a metal trolley, which had the nurse rushing to see me (although I'm not good with needles so it could have been expected)

    Hope all goes well with your one!
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