Hi I was just woundering if anyone else is having the same or similar problems with their back? I have a few thing wrong but I've just been referred to get a ct guided L5 nerve root block and have no idea what it is and If it hurts, hopeing someone could shed some light on the topic for me
[QUOTE=ToolahhBaby;4962369]Hi I was just woundering if anyone else is having the same or similar problems with their back? I have a few thing wrong but I've just been referred to get a ct guided L5 nerve root block and have no idea what it is and If it hurts, hopeing someone could shed some light on the topic for me [/QUOTE]
They are actually x-ray guided injections, not CT guided. I have had several over the last few years. You can be sedated during the injection, which will make things easier for you. You would need someone to drive you home and be with you for the day. That is the only way I do injections, is sedated.
You may experience a bit of discomfort for a couple of days afterwards from the actual injection, but it's usually not too bad. If they use cortisone or some other steroid, you may get some longer term relief beyond the first several hours. They usually use a combination of a numbing agent and the steroid.
You will also want to limit your activities for the first few days following, especially if they use the steroids. Too much activity in the first couple of days will reduce the effectiveness of them.
Personally, I have only had a little discomfort from the actual injections for the first day or so, felt a bit weak in the legs which is partially due to the sedation, and have had a variety of results with the various injections. Some were done in the right areas and some weren't which is why some didn't do much for me.
Usually a nerve block is done for diagnostic purposes. Sometimes they will add some cortisone to it so that the person gets some pain relief for a period of time afterward. Remember that what you read on this, and other similar forums, is written by fellow spineys who respond based on their own personal experiences. Since there are a variety of ways to do a procedure, what your doctor does or a plan of treatment he/she suggests may be somewhat different.
I have gone to several different specialists for diagnostic injections and they varied somewhat in their philosophy and technique. The guy I had the greatest success with will not sedate the patient. I mention this just so you know to inquire beforehand, if this would be a deal breaker for you!
With a diagnostic procedure, you will be given a numbing agent in the injection. Shortly thereafter, your leg will feel numb. You will be asked to go about your normal activities, especially those that normally cause you pain. You will be asked to keep a pain journal, noting what activity you are doing and how you are feeling. You will be asked specifically to note if you are pain-free after the injection, at what point does the pain begin to return.
The idea behind this procedure is that if they have injected the right level (what they suspect is the pain generator), you will be able to do activities for a period of time without pain. As the numbing agent wears off, the pain will begin to return. If you still have pain from the beginning, they can assume they have not found the right level and have not found the pain generator. Usually they will repeat this test down the road to see if they get the same results. If they do, they conclude that area is causing you pain. You may still have pain coming from something else, too, but at least they have an answer for this particular level, which in your case will be the L5 nerve.
I think most people would say that it hurts when the needle is inserted and there is a feeling of pressure as the medicine goes in. (if you are awake). Actually, when I have been sedated with previous doctors, you still feel some pressure, etc. I was never completely knocked out!
I have had some injections where I had pain for a day or two afterward and some haven't bothered me much at all. But my "new" doctor (the one who refuses to sedate his patients) also requires his patients to "rest" for at least 48 and preferably 72 hours post injections which is practically unheard of. Most doctors do not tell patients to rest more than the rest of the day and then they are good to go the following day...but, having done it both ways, I am a big believer in being off your feet for at least 48 hours. It keeps the medication from dispersing too quickly and gives it the best chance to work.
The procedure sounds more scary than it really is. Even if it hurts, the pain is brief as the injection itself doesn't take long. And it is much more convenient to not be sedated as you don't need someone with you...and you don't have to wait around after the procedure for the sedation to wear off. They keep you a half hour to be sure you aren't going to have a reaction and that you are stable, and then you're good to go. If you are doing this fairly often, this can be a great convenience.
Good luck to you. Come back and let us know how it went!
hi! this is my first post, as I head towards an ALIF in June.
I've been managing my pain for 3 years and in that time have had several L5/S1 nerve root blocks.
I was extremely scared the first time, almost crying in pain, but after i got up off the table i was crying again - in joy for having NO pain at all for the first time in months! It really changed my life!
The CT guide is different to an X-Ray in that the CT scan is live imaging, so the radiographer can see where the needle is being inserted and to correctly being able to inject the cortisone that provides relief. In my experience it lasted for about 6-8 weeks and then gradually diminished effect. The actual injection doesn't hurt but the first local anesthetic they inject is like a sharp pin *****.
I hope it has the same affect for you as it did for me. If I wasn't going in for surgery i would definitely go in gain for a nerve root block.
The Following User Says Thank You to spinaloz For This Useful Post: ToolahhBaby (04-17-2012)