Overview & Procedure
The sciatic nerve helps control sensations in the lower body. Sometimes, when a condition like a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, or an injury to the lower back compresses the sciatic nerve, pain follows. This type of nerve pain, which is also known as sciatica, causes radiating back pain that shoots down the buttocks and legs. A sciatic nerve block helps relieve these symptoms. To begin the procedure, the area is sterilized and the patient is administered a local anesthetic. The patient is awake throughout the procedure, but he or she will not experience any significant pain. The physician may use a fluoroscope and inject a dye to identify the pathway of the nerve block needle. Once the position of the needle is confirmed, an anesthetic and steroid solution mixture is injected into the damaged nerves. The physician applies a bandage over the injection site, and the patient is monitored after the procedure.
Once the patient is considered healthy to return home, he or she will be discharged and given aftercare instructions. Patients may experience mild side effects like nausea, dizziness, or soreness around the injection site after the procedure. This is usually from the local anesthesia wearing off and from the body reacting to the injection. We recommend patients rest for at least 24 hours following their nerve block, with most patients being able to work the next day. If any complications or infections arise, we urge patients to come to Southwest Spine & Pain Center as soon as possible. Patients should begin to experience pain relief within the first few days of the injection. Because sciatic nerve blocks are considered temporary pain relievers, the procedure may be repeated in the future if the effects of the medication begin to wear off.