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Nerve block injection in spine for damaged nerve in leg; anyone?

(6 Posts)
copycat Wed 15-Jun-11 23:27:27

It is probably fairly unlikely but has anyone had a nerve block injection in their base of their spine? I have a damaged sural nerve which causes me pain in my ankle, lower calf and outer foot.

I am booked for a L5 nerve block and I'm wondering what to expect in terms of discomfort or pain during and after the procedure. Will there be ongoing numbness in my leg and ankle or will it just have the effect of reducing my current level of pain? Will I be okay to work/drive the following day?

Thank you for any feedback smile

zeolite Wed 15-Jun-11 23:52:31

This may be something to prompt a further discussion with your consultant:

www.advancedspineandpaincenter.com/patienteducation/SelectiveNerveBlockInjections.html

smee Thu 16-Jun-11 10:55:27

I had one a few years ago, same injection site, but it was for a trapped nerve in my back. They do it under guided x-ray, so you have to stay v.still. It's not pleasant, but the thought of it's worse than the reality. I'd guess they'll offer you sedation, but you can choose local anaesthetic. I did that as I wanted to leave asap - if you have to sedation, they monitor you for longer afterwards. Afterwards, you have to have someone to drive you home, and might feel a bit achey/ bruised for a day or so. I didn't find it a huge problem though. Hope it works for you.

copycat Thu 16-Jun-11 22:34:27

Thank you for the informative link zeolite and for the reassurance smee. smile

iscream Fri 17-Jun-11 09:16:28

I went to the emergency at the hospital one night for that same pain. I was lucky that there just happened to be a pain specialist on duty that night, and he gave me nerve block injections right there at 3 AM! They really helped me a lot. They didn't hurt. However, there are different kinds of nerve blocks, so I guess it depends. It will probably be well worth any discomfort you may feel at the time. It gave immediate relief.

It did help lessen the spasms in my leg and made my leg numb, but it was better than that pain. I doubt you will be able to work as standing up or sitting is not good when you are having a flare up of sciatica, you probably don't need anyone to tell you that though! If you work regardless, at least you won't hurt so much.
What else really helped me was using those soft cold packs that you chill in the freezer. I would put one in a cotton sock (the cold wet plastic feels uncomfortable) and put it on the sciatic area, I would use 2 sometimes. I wore spandex shorts to hold the cold pack in place. (I wasn't going anywhere anyways) Then I wrapped a heating pad around my leg. Also, muscle relaxants and Tramacet, which is a low dose of Tramadol combined with Tylenol. I used Tramadol for a few weeks, but it made me sleep all the time, and have heart palpitations so I went off of it and took Tramacet instead

I also took Codeine and Tylenol. The doc tried a few things until we settled on the muscle relaxants and Tramacet. Also, anti-inflamatories, definitely helped a LOT! I think they helped more than the narcotics, as they helped reduce the inflammation around the sciatic nerve.
It took me months to recover, luckily I have adult kids who took care of me. By recover I mean, be able to walk without a walker. I kept with my exercises and used the cold packs as needed.

The pain doctor at the hospital had given me his card, so I went to the pain doctors clinic. I saw a different doctor who gave me marijuana pills. They did not do anything except make me feel a bit dizzy.
I was beginning to heal by that time anyways, (took ages to get in there) but I can go there for nerve blocks if I ever need then again, and now that they have seen me I can get in that day if urgent.

I had a physio therapist come to the house and she measured for a walker, which I found very helpful, as my leg dragged and I would fall without warning. Also bath grab bars and she wanted me to get a wheelchair bidet type thing but I said no, I have a small bedroom and can make it to the bathroom with the walker anyways.
It took months, exercise and basically laying on my bed for 5 months but I did eventually heal.
Sorry for the book.
Hope you get help, I know what agony nerve pain is.
Oh, nerve pain! I totally forgot. I take Neurontin, a seizure med. I take it for seizures, but every doctor I have seen for my pain has asked me if I had tried Neurontin for pain! I have no idea if it helps my pain, as I have been taking it far longer than I have had chronic pain.

copycat Fri 17-Jun-11 20:15:57

Hello iscream

Thank you for your message and all the helpful information and for sharing your experience of the nerve block. I have one major question! Did the numbness from the nerve block hinder your ability to walk afterwards or were you already "dragging your leg" from the pain?

At the moment I can walk normally. I 'manage' my pain with compression hosiery (pretty much 24 hours a day). This injury happened 3 years ago and the pain has improved greatly with time and physio but has been constant for the last year or so. I am obviously hoping that the nerve block will bring further pain relief but not at the expense of my mobility! That's why I am particularly interested in any possible loss of sensation, strength or stability in my leg, foot and ankle as a result of the nerve block.

Thank you for your kind help.

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