When you’re experiencing chest pain resulting from the herpes zoster infection (Shingles) or an incision from a surgery, an intercostal nerve block may be able to ease your pain. This nerve block is an injection of medication into the nerves located under each rib, which can become inflamed or irritated resulting in pain. To bring relief an injection of a local anesthetic and a steroid medication are injected to help soothe the pain and reduce inflammation in the affected area. Additionally, an intercostal nerve block is sometimes used to determine the origin of chronic pain, contact your pain management doctor in Las Vegas, NV to learn more.
What Happens During An Intercostal Nerve Block Procedure?
The procedure begins by providing you with a sedative administered intravenously and placing you on the side that’s free from pain. The injection site is cleaned and prepared to receive the nerve block, which is administered by a thin needle under the rib. An injection of anesthetic and steroids is completed under x-ray guidance, the procedure overall lasting no more than 30 minutes in most cases.
Are Intercostal Nerve Blocks Effective?
While pain relief is sometimes reported immediately following the injection, it typically returns a couple hours later after the anesthetic fades. Two to three days later the steroid will begin to have an effect, leading to longer and more lasting pain relief. While no two patients are alike, the relief can last for a period ranging from several months to years in some patients. In the event the procedure is effective, new injections can be administered every few months.
Are There Any Risks Associated With This Nerve Block?
This procedure is one of the safest nerve block procedures and has an incredibly low instance of negative side-effects. Aside from some tenderness and bruising at the injection site, other side-effects can include collapsed lung damage to the nerves, infection, and bleeding. All of these occur very rarely, most nerve blocks are performed without any kind of side-effect occurring.
Can I Return To Work The Same Day?
Following this procedure, you should not drive or perform any physically challenging activity, rest and let your body recover. On the day following the procedure, you can return to all of your normal activities without issue. There are no dietary or medication restrictions associated with the procedure, however, so you can return to eating immediately.
Can More Than One Intercostal Nerve Be Blocked During A Procedure?
In most cases, only a single nerve will be blocked, especially in those instances where the cause of the symptoms can be traced down to a single nerve. However, in the event that it is deemed appropriate by your provider, multiple intercostal nerves can be blocked during the procedure, typically by focusing on the one causing the most pain and then blocking the ones that are adjacent.
If you have any other questions for your medical provider regarding Intercostal Nerve Blocks, contact them immediately for a consultation. Any concerns you have can be addressed during this consultation with Dr. Yevgeniy Khavkin to determine if an Intercostal Nerve Block is right for you.