What is a nerve root block/transforaminal injection?
The aim of the injection is to help pinpoint which nerve, if any, is causing your back or leg pain so that your doctor can plan the appropriate treatment.
The injection consists of a combination of local anaesthetic and a steroid which are injected around one of the nerves in your back. The local anaesthetic will numb the nerve immediately, the steroid will give long-term pain relief and reduce inflammation. You will generally feel the effects of the steroid for about three days after the injection.
A nerve root block or TFI numbs your nerve root temporarily. If your pain decreases after the treatment, the nerve blocked by the injection is the most likely cause of your pain. If your pain stays the same, then that nerve is most likely not the cause of your pain. A nerve root block can help with pain but it is not a permanent cure.
During the procedure
You will need to lie flat on your stomach for the injection. Local anaesthetic is used to numb the area at the skin. X-rays are used during the procedure to help guide the steroid injection to the correct nerve.
After the procedure
The pain relief may last a couple weeks to a few months.
You cannot drive for the remainder of the day, and should not do any strenuous activity for the next 24 hours.