Stellate ganglion blocks are injected into the sympathetic nerve tissue in the neck, located on either side of the voice box.
These injections can be used for complex regional pain syndrome and chronic pain in the neck, head, upper arm, and upper chest.
How it Works
A stellate ganglion block delivers a local anesthetic and long-lasting steroid to the targeted area. This blocks the sympathetic nerves in order to reduce pain and swelling.
What to Expect
Stellate ganglion blocks are guided with x-ray imaging. The injection takes a few minutes with the whole procedure lasting about 30 minutes. During the injection, the patient sits up and the chin is slightly raised and turned in order to reach the targeted area.
You should plan to have a ride home following your injection. You might experience soreness at the injection site temporarily, but you will be able to resume normal activities the next day.
The local anesthetic in the injection will provide immediate relief, but this will wear off in a few hours. In a day or two, the pain relief from the steroid will kick in. This relief lasts longer. The level of pain relief experienced is different for each patient. If the first injection is successful, you may be a candidate for a second one.