Ask Your Doctor These Questions About Nerve Blocks
Just like all medical procedures, lumbar epidural injections also have a series of risks. Apart from the bladder and the bowels becoming temporarily numb, common complications include:
Extremely severe infections are relatively rare. They only occur in 0.01% to 0.1% of the injections.
This takes place in 0.5% of the injections and can cause post-dural puncture or a spinal headache that gets better in a few days. A blood patch might be required to get rid of the headache.
This is a rare complication and usually, occurs in individuals with an underlying bleeding disorder.
This is also extremely rare; however, nerve damage occurs either from a direct trauma from the injection, bleeding, or from an infection.
Each doctor has a different approach when it comes to an individual's follow-up; however, it is vital that you explain in detail the side effects that you are experiencing. You need to reach out to your doctor immediately if any of these occur:
- An excruciating headache when you sit or stand however it gets better when you lay down. This indicates a dural puncture and immediate assistance is necessary.
- Fever of 101 degrees or higher for the entire day which indicates infection
- Losing feeling and function of the arms or legs
- Loss of bladder and bowel control once the temporary numbness and local anesthetic wears off
- Severe pain that can’t be controlled by OTC pain medicines and other measures
Here are a few short videos that you should watch to figure out which of the nerve block is the most suitable for you