What is a Pain Block?
A “Pain Block” is the common name for a number of procedures that use injections to treat or diagnose many painful conditions. The most common pain blocks performed in the surgery center are epidural steroid injections, facet injections, sacroiliac joint injections, and sympathetic ganglion blocks.
Do I need to prepare for the Pain Block?
You should not eat or drink for six hours before the procedure. If you take regular medications, a nurse or doctor will inform you what to take the day of the procedure. You must arrange to have someone remain at the Surgery Center until you are discharged and to drive you home afterward.
Where do I go for the Pain Block?
The Surgery Center is located on the second floor, above Semmes Murphey Clinic. When you arrive, check in with the receptionist on the second floor to receive your armband and beeper. The beeper will indicate when it’s time to be taken to the pre-procedure area.
What happens during a Pain Block?
During pre-procedure, a nurse will ask you a series of health history questions like your name, date of birth, list of current medications and last dosage taken, and any allergies you have. While verifying your history, the nurse will record your vital signs, level of pain, and procedure type. You will then be asked to put on a hospital gown and a nurse monitor will come to check your arm band before administering an IV for conscious sedation. Only some procedures will require an IV.
Once in the surgery room, the nurse monitor will stay to assist the doctor and an X-ray technician will take the images. A physician will come and administer the pain block by inserting a needle in the appropriate area.
After the pain block is complete, you will be sent to the recovery area for monitoring. A recovery nurse will check your vitals, ask you to sit up, and check your injection site. At this time, you may have a drink or snack if desired. Your driver may come join you in the recovery area. The nurse will go over discharge instructions and medications list with you and your driver. If you do not feel nauseated, the IV will be discontinued and you will be assisted to stand and take a few steps. You will then get dressed and your driver will leave to prepare the car. Upon discharge, a nurse will meet you with a wheelchair to go meet your driver around the back of the building.
How long will this procedure take?
You will be here approximately 2-3 hours (or less) from the time you check in until you are discharged. Pre-procedure takes approximately 20 minutes, the procedure 10 to 15, and the recovery at least 30 minutes.
Can I return to normal activity?
Some numbness or weakness can remain on the day of the procedure, so do not drive or participate in strenuous activity. The band aid from the injection must stay on until the following day and treat any tenderness with ice.