Patients with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), headache, facial pain, arm pain, abdominal pain, leg pain, sacral pain, Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD), Reynaud’s Syndrome and neuropathy can benefit from these blocks.
You will be given conscious sedation through an IV (intravenous needle) inserted in your arm/hand on your admission to the facility where the procedure will be performed. You will be escorted to the surgical suite with the nurse and asked to lay on your stomach for the procedure. The MD and /or nurse will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate (breathing) during the procedure. The physician will perform the procedure with a special x ray machine called the fluoroscope to accurately visualize the anatomy. Then contrast dye will be injected to enhance visualization. Finally, local anesthetics with or without steroids will be injected to disrupt the sympathetic pain fibers and relieve pain. Another benefit from sympathetic blocks is to increase blood flow to the areas which can help patients who suffer from PVD, Reynaud’s Syndrome and other blood flow problems.
Typically the sedation provided minimizes pain.
The most common risks are local pain from the needles. More serious but extremely rare risks are bleeding, infection, nerve injury, paralysis, weakness in the lower extremities and death.
The beneficial effects are usually appreciated immediately following the procedure.