Lumbar Transforaminal Injection or Block
What should I expect from this procedure?
The transforaminal epidural steroid injection is a very selective injection around a specific nerve root. The doctor can determine if this nerve root is causing the problem by injecting medication around a specific nerve root. Commonly used in the neck, this type of epidural injection is used most often for diagnostic purposes.
How quickly can I expect pain relief?
You should feel relief immediately due to the anesthesia. After the local anesthetic wears off, you may feel some discomfort return, which should resolve after the steroid medication starts to work.
How should I prepare for the procedure?
You should eat no solid food or fluids after midnight prior to the procedure unless directed otherwise. You may take your regular medications with a small amount of water. If you are taking any blood thinners such as Coumadin, Warfarin, Plavix, or any others, these medications must be discontinued well before the procedure. The Advanced Pain Institute will direct you when to stop taking these medications
What happens during and after the procedure?
You will be asked to lie on a special x-ray table for the procedure. You will be given light intravenous sedation and local anesthetic in the area over the nerve root opening. A needle will be guided into the opening where the nerve root is being compressed, using x-ray. A dye solution that can be seen on our x-ray monitor is injected so that we can determine the extent to which the nerve is being compressed. Local anesthetic will be injected around the nerve root to relieve your pain. A steroid medication is also injected around the nerve root which acts as an anti-inflammatory medication to decrease the inflammation and swelling of the nerve root.
Will my insurance cover the procedure?
Most insurance companies currently cover lumbar transforaminal. They are covered by Medicare and other government funded insurance plans. However, coverage may vary depending on your specific plan and policy.
What possible side effects might I see?
Possible side effects may include drowsiness, temporary numbness, weakness and soreness.
What should I do if any problems develop after I leave the hospital?
If you have continued pain, fever or leg weakness, call the Advanced Pain Institute. Please do not perform vigorous activity for one week. When you are feeling better, slowly increase your activity level.
What post procedure instructions are recommended?
You should rest for a few hours following the procedure, and use assistance if needed. You may resume light activity soon after the procedure, and resume your regular diet. Do not drive or operate machinery for at least 12 hours following the procedure.