Selective Nerve Root Injection

Degenerative disc diseases, spinal stenosis, herniated discs or back injuries have the potential to put excessive pressure on nerve roots in the neck or lower back. Those irritated nerve roots can cause significant neck or back pain. Cervical nerve root pain often radiates to the shoulders, arms and hands, while lumbar nerve root pain may radiate into the legs.

Selective nerve root injections are most frequently administered to determine which nerve roots in the cervical spine and lumbar spine are responsible for your pain. Selective nerve root injections deliver precisely targeted anesthetic, and they may be combined with steroids similar to an epidural steroid injection.

If your neck or back pain fades after the selective nerve root injection, your pain management specialist will have found the offending nerve, which can then be targeted with additional treatments.


Lumbar Selective Nerve Root Block Injections

This outpatient selective nerve root injection procedure is an injection of anesthetic medication in the lower back. The medication will reduce swelling and inflammation of irritated spinal nerve roots.

Irritated nerve roots in the lower back may also be responsible for pain in the legs. If your pain fades after your lumbar nerve root injection, it will indicate your doctor has found the pain-causing nerve root.

A selective nerve root injection is a short procedure that can be completed in a matter of minutes. Patients lie face down with a cushion under their abdomen. This position causes foramina (spaces in the spine) to open. These spaces allow for easier access to the nerve roots.

A local anesthetic is administered to the injection site to numb the skin and tissue above the spine. Once you are numb your doctor will inject contrast dye and use a fluoroscope to guide a needle into the foramina space. Once the needle is properly positioned the anesthetic will be administered to the nerve root the doctor believes may be responsible for your low back pain.

The needle is then removed, and the injection site is bandaged. Many patients do feel significant and long term pain reduction after a single selective nerve root injection. Your orthopaedic pain specialist may recommend you receive additional injections to get sustained low back pain relief.

Cervical Selective Nerve Root Block Injections

Cervical selective nerve root injections can be used as a diagnostic procedure or to reduce pain. In ideal situations it will do both.

The process is similar to the lumbar nerve root injection. You’ll be positioned lying down and an anesthetic will be administered to the injection site. Once the injection site is numb your pain management specialist will use a fluoroscope to guide the needle that will inject a combination of anesthetic and steroid at the nerve root.

It may be necessary to use contrast dye at the suspected problem nerves to better target the injection. The needle will be precisely positioned where the nerve root exits the vertebral foramen to ensure the anesthetic is administered with pinpoint accuracy.

Cervical selective nerve root block injections are quick procedures that have the potential to provide significant pain relief if administered to the nerve roots responsible for a patient’s pain. Patients may need additional epidural steroid injections to experience sustained neck and shoulder pain relief.

Learn More About Cervical and Lumbar Selective Nerve Root Injections

You should strongly consider contacting Non-Surgical Orthopaedics if you’re experiencing neck pain or low back pain. We are committed to developing effective, minimally invasive pain management solutions for patients experiencing back and neck pain. Selective nerve root injections may be one of the tools we use to diagnose or treat your cervical or lumbar pain. Contact us at 770-421-1420 to schedule an appointment at our Marietta or Carrollton location.