A cervical selective nerve root block uses an injection to place medicine directly around a suspected nerve. A local anesthetic medication is used to “turn off” the nerve, stopping its ability to send pain signals. Steroid medication may be added to help decrease nerve inflammation.
A cervical selective nerve root block is an outpatient procedure. You will wear a gown for the procedure and be positioned lying down. Before you receive the selective nerve root block, the back of your neck will be sterilized and numbed with an anesthetic. You will receive relaxation medicine before your procedure.
Your doctor will use a live X-ray image (fluoroscopy) to carefully insert and guide the needle to the foraminal space “tunnel” of the suspected spinal nerve. A contrast dye is used to confirm the needle placement. Next, the medication is injected around the nerve, and the needle is removed.
You will be monitored for several minutes before you can return home. You should have another person drive you home because you received sedation medication. Your doctor will instruct you on how to relieve temporary pain at the injection site. You will be asked to keep track of your pain over the next several days.
If the cervical selective nerve root block relieved your pain, then the suspected nerve was the source of the problem. Your doctor may repeat the injections as a form of treatment or discuss surgery if necessary. If the cervical selective nerve root block did not relieve your pain, the process may be repeated at a different nerve to help determine the source of the problem.