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HPC | Hertfordshire Pain Consultants

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  • I wanted to write a letter to you because I'm so grateful to you and your team at the pain management clinc. After spending over 15 years with the most horrendous headaches and seeing dozens of different doctors and therapists finally you have managed to get them under control. Thanks you for taking the time to genuinely listen to me and my problems. Much appreciated.

    K. R
    Hertfordshire
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Nerve Root Injection

This spinal injection targets the nerves as they emerge from the spinal canal using a combination of long acting local anaesthetic and steroid. It is used to treat leg pain caused by nerve compression due to disc protrusion, stenosis and spondylolisthesis

Before the Procedure
  • An nerve root injection is a day surgery procedure.
  • Do not eat for 6 hours before your injection.  You can drink water up to 2 hours prior to the procedure
  • Medication. Continue all regular medication on the day of the procedure except blood thinning medications such as warfarin or clopidrogrel which will need to be discussed with your pain specialist
  • Please ensure you have someone to drive you home, and stay for the first 24hours
During the Procedure
  • The patient lies flat on his/her abdomen on an x-ray table
  • A local anaesthetic is administered to the injection site and some sedation is given
  • Using live x-ray for guidance, the consultant directs a needle toward the nerve root.
  • The needle is inserted into the flank of your back rather than in the middle
  • Radio-opaque dye is injected to confirm that the needle is in the correct space.
  • The procedure usually takes 30 minutes with discharge from hospital after approx 2 hours
After the Procedure
  • You may experience short lived numbness and weakness in the legs.
  • Normal activities including work may typically be resumed the following day
Risks
  • Headache 1:200
  • The risks of permanent nerve injury are very rare
Effectiveness
  • The effects of the steroid can take up to a week to occur.
  • For those who do respond, its effect may last up to 6 months. This can be repeated up to 3 times per year.
  • Whilst the injection is relatively safe and quick to perform, it has the disadvantage of being unpredictable in its action and short lived in its effect with some patients reporting no benefit
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