Nerve Root Block

A nerve root block or injection is where a mixture of local anaesthetic and steroid is injected around the swollen nerve root to help relieve pain and inflammation.Why a Nerve Root Block?

Nerve roots are the parts of the nerves which emerge from the spinal cord. Conditions such as prolapsed discs can cause inflammation and irritation of the nerve roots. This may result in considerable pain in the spine and along the nerves into the arms or legs. A nerve root injection is intended to relieve pain by decreasing inflammation associated with the irritated nerve.

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The patient lies face down on the CT examination table and the back area is cleaned with an antiseptic solution. A small amount of local anaesthetic is injected to numb the area and a radiologist specialising in this procedure will then use CT to guide the needle tip into a position near the nerve root. A mixture of steroid and local anaesthetic solution is injected into the area, the needle removed and a sterile dressing applied.

Things we need to know from you

Please inform the Radiology staff of any of the following:

  1. If you are allergic to any medications, anaesthetic agent or X-Ray contrast.
  2. If you are taking blood thinning Medications (ie. Aspirin, Wafarin, Clopidogrel etc).
  3. If you are not feeling well or wish to cancel please ring immediately (someone else can be offered your appointment time).

Female Patients: Please let us know if you are pregnant or suspect you may be or if you are breastfeeding

Are there any risks or side effects?

There are risks and side effects associated with any treatment. In general the risk is low, but the more common side effects are discomfort, redness and bruising at the injection site. These symptoms usually resolve within a few days. Occasionally, tingling or numbness can occur in the pelvis region, sometimes extending down one or both legs, immediately following a nerve root injection. This is generally caused by irritation of the nerve roots during the injection and usually subsides within a few hours

Most of these symptoms are transient, should you experience fever, localised heat, swelling or increasing pain at the injection site more than 48 hours after the injection, you should consult your doctor without delay.


Post Procedure

  • There may be a slight soreness or bruising at the needle site. Paracetamol and or ice may provide some comfort if required.
  • You may also experience some temporary numbness at the injection site and down your affected limb. Occasionally an increase in sciatic pain can occur in the days after the procedure.
  • You should not participate in strenuous activity or exercise for 48 hours to one week depending on your treating doctor’s instructions. They will also advise you on how best to resume pre-treatment activity levels.
  • If you are concerned that you are having untoward after effects from your injection, please ring Imaging @ Olympic Park or your Referring Doctor.

Please bring to your appointment

Please bring your referral from your doctor along with the following:

  • Medicare Card
  • Pension/Concession Card
  • Previous films

It is important you understand why and how we will be assisting you. Please feel free to contact our friendly staff at any time if you have any questions or concerns on 03 9420 1700.