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L4 / L5 Nerve Block Procedure
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jbjayhawk posted:
Hello! I'm scheduled to have a nerve block this week for my L4 / L5 and I'm wondering if someone can tell me what to expect? The Dr. plans to keep me awake for this and use a numbing agent. I've been told they can give some valium to calm my nerves & that the procedure is 5-10 minutes. The Dr. says it's no big deal and I've heard that from a couple other people but I've also heard the procedure is extremely painful & it's better to be put under twilight anesthesia. I like the Dr. a lot when I met him and he's very well respected in our area. He will not use twilight so that's not an option with him. My neighbor saw him and was told the same thing about the procedure & he says it was awful. Any thoughts are appreciated. To say I'm having some anxiety over this is an understatement. Thanks!
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cweinbl responded:
I've had a nerve block and a rhyzotomy (radio frequency ablation). The nerve block is nearly painless. I never broke a sweat, felt anxious or desired any anxiety medication. The only bad part was lying on my stomach for a half hour. On the other hand, a rhyzotomy is very painful. The needles are much larger in diameter and very little anesthesia is employed (the doctor needs you clear-headed in order to answer questions throughout the procedure. Both procedures are done under radiography, so that the doctor can see exactly where the needles are placed. There is a small chance of nerve root impingement, related to the skill of the physician. In my case both procedures failed. In fact, I had a significant increase in pain with the rhyzotomy that lasted about a year. The success rate for both procedures at 12 months is around 50-60%. Even when it helps, it's only temporary. If you wish to take a look at the latest research on all spinal interventions, go here www.painphysicianjournal.com/2009/july/2009;12;699-802.pdf. Good luck.
 
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bama23 responded:
Hi I have had 2 blocks at L4/L5/S1. They were done using Verset/Fentanyl. I don't remember a thing until I got home. I had no help with either block. My back and leg felt like they were on fire for about 10 days afterward. The same thing happened with another block in a different area 3 years ago. This doesn't mean that will be the case with you. If you trust this dr I'm sure it will be fine the way he's going to do it. I'm sorry I'm not familar with the way you described. If you are really nervous let them give you the Valium, just make sure you have a driver! Since I have the same problem area as you, would you mind sharing with me your symptoms and what has helped you? Hoping that you have great success with your block!


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