Selective Nerve Root Block

A selective nerve block is indicated to diagnose and/or treat pain that comes from a particular nerve. Please inform us if you are taking any blood thinners, anti-inflammatory medication or have any bleeding tendencies.


After the procedure, you may experience pain relief for a short time. Your pain may come back as the numbing medication wears off. If steroids are administered it may take three to four days for the steroids to begin working and up to two weeks for the full therapeutic effect.


The duration of pain relief from the steroid is variable with each person and is not predictable. You must have a driver the day of the injection because you may experience temporary weakness of the affected limb. Do not take pain medication or use pain patches at least four hours prior to the injection so that a determination can be made about the effectiveness of the injection.


After the injection you will be asked questions as to your perception of the pain relief and possibly be asked to perform those activities that normally aggravate your pain so that the pain relief can be assessed.


Description Of The Procedure


The skin overlying the area is prepared with a cleansing solution. The skin is numbed with a local anesthetic. X-ray is used to guide the needle in place. A stimulating needle is then used to locate the nerve root and you may feel a light pulsating down the affected limb. The physician will ask you questions about where you feel this sensation and the success of this test depends on the accuracy of your answers.  A numbing medication and possibly a steroid will be injected.




The procedure may be able to determine if your pain is coming from a nerve. There may be a reduction in your pain and if a steroid is administered, this may provide you with long term relief.


Potential Risks


  • Infection
  • bleeding
  • bruising
  • allergic reaction
  • increased pain
  • paralysis
  • stroke or death
  • increase in blood sugar
  • internal vessel/organ puncture


  • Notify our office for:
  • Fever
  • chills
  • temperature over 100 degrees
  • vomiting
  • persistent stiff neck
  • severe headache
  • progressive weakness
  • numbness
  • hives or trouble breathing
  • rash
  • itchiness
  • red or flushed face
  • loss of bowel or bladder control
  • any redness, swelling or drainage at the site of the injection


Our office phone number is (317) 471-1400 or 1-855-664-3636.