Lumbar sympathetic blocks are injected into or around the sympathetic nerves that are located in the lower back on either side of the spine.
Lumbar sympathetic blocks may be performed for:
- Leg pain
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Peripheral vascular disease
How it Works
Lumbar sympathetic blocks consist of an anesthetic and a long-lasting steroid. The injection is performed in order to block signals sent from the nerves that go to the legs in order to reduce pain.
What to Expect
The procedures takes 10 to 30 minutes and uses x-ray imaging for accuracy. You should plan to have a ride home after the injection, but you will be able to resume regular activities the next day. You might experience temporary pain and soreness at the injection site.
The immediate pain relief that you experience is due to the anesthetic that is used, and this effect will wear off. The extended relief comes two to three days later when the steroid starts to work. The relief that you experience will last longer with each injection that you have. You might be a candidate if you respond well to the first injection. The amount of injections that are needed vary for each patient.