Treatments

Ask Your Doctor These Questions About Nerve Blocks

Print
Share
Save

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:


Infections


Extremely severe infections are relatively rare. They only occur in 0.01% to 0.1% of the injections.


Dural puncture


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.


Bleeding


This is a rare complication and usually, occurs in individuals with an underlying bleeding disorder.


Nerve damage


This is also extremely rare; however, nerve damage occurs either from a direct trauma from the injection, bleeding, or from an infection.


How to report side effects if there is a problem


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

Helpful links

Here are a few short videos that you should watch to figure out which of the nerve block is the most suitable for you


Cervical epidural steroid 


Such an injection delivers the steroids directly to the epidural space which surrounds the spinal nerve roots. This helps to relieve pain in the neck and upper spine.

Link: https://www.spine-health.com/video/cervical-epidural-steroid-injection-video 


Epidural steroid injections for leg pain 


A lumbar injection delivers medicine around the area that is responsible for causing pain in the leg or lower back.

Link: https://www.spine-health.com/video/epidural-steroid-injections-back-pain-and-leg-pain-video 


Facet joint injections procedure


In this video, you will learn how the facet joint injection delivers the steroids that anesthetize the joints. As a result, the pain you feel is blocked.

Link: https://www.spine-health.com/video/facet-joint-injections-procedure-video 


Lumbar block


This block consists of a number of injections that relieve pain in the leg due to complex regional pain syndromes after injury. 

Link: https://www.spine-health.com/video/lumbar-sympathetic-block-video