Nerve Root Block

At each level in the spine a nerve passes out to supply the arms, legs and trunk with sensation and muscle power. The nerve may become irritated or compressed causing pain, loss of sensation or weakness of the arm or leg.

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A Nerve Root Injection is a steroid injection into the nerve root and may help relieve your symptoms.

Your referring Doctor may want you to have this procedure for one of the following reasons:

  • Nerve root compression or irritation due to disc herniation or bulge
  • Nerve root compression due to bony spurs
  • Nerve roots affected by post-operative scarring
  • As a diagnostic indicator if the exact site of nerve compression is uncertain – e.g. if more than 1 possible site.

How do I prepare?

Please arrive early for your exam as you will be asked to complete a questionnaire.

It’s a good idea to dress in a separate top and bottoms, as this makes accessing the area we need access to easier.

Please bring a friend along to drive you home after the appointment, or arrange to get a taxi home.

Technology and Team

Nerve Root Injections are performed using CT guidance.

The injection is delivered by one of our specially trained Radiologists.

Radiologists, Radiographers and our Nurses work together to deliver this service. Due to the number of people involved, this is why we ask you travel to one of our hospital or comprehensive sites for this imaging procedure.

What happens during my examination?

Your Radiographer will explain exactly what will happen during your procedure. It may vary slightly from what we describe below, so don’t worry if this is the case, you’ll always be in very good hands.

On entering the CT room, you will be introduced to the Radiologist and nurse who will be administering the injection. You will be asked to lie or sit on the CT bed. We’ll clean the site with antiseptic before the procedure. If required, you will be given a local anaesthetic.

Our Radiologist will then insert a needle using the guidance of CT imaging. This is to ensure the needle is positioned correctly.

The injection usually contains a steroid injection and long acting anaesthetic. The type of which is decided by the Radiologist on the day and is discussed with you.

Throughout the procedure, the Radiologist will talk to you about what they’re doing. They will leave the room and come back several times as they review the images on a screen outside of the room.

The injection takes a few minutes, during which time you may feel some minor pressure or discomfort. We’ll do our very best to keep this to a minimum and keep you comfortable.

The procedure will last around 15 minutes. At the end of the examination, you will be asked to sit in the practice waiting room, before we allow you to go home.

The pain relief gained from this procedure can take a few weeks to work. It typically lasts between 3-6 months.

How much will it cost?

Fees for radiology procedures will vary depending on a variety of factors. We will advise you about the cost of your service at the time of booking but if you do have any questions, contact us and one of our team will be happy to help with your query. You can read more about our billing information here.

How do I access my images?

At Queensland X-Ray, we provide our patients with their images and results online. To access your images and results, you’ll need to register for an account when you visit one of our practices. If you’ve already registered, you can access the Patient Portal here.

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