What To Expect
Surgery is not the only option for relief of pain. Highly effective minimally invasive interventions can produce good results. These are often carried out as day surgery or outpatient procedures. Most people are back to work the next day.
Before The Procedure
Most of our procedures are day-care.
- You must fast from 6h prior, plain water is allowed up to 2h before the procedure.
- Stop any oral blood thinning medications e.g. warfarin, high dose aspirin, clopidogrel after discussion with your specialist.
- Ensure that you have an adult accompanying you for up to 24h post procedure.
During The Procedure
- Depending on the site of the procedure you will either be lying on your side or on your front.
- After getting consent, the area of injection will be prepared in a sterile manner.
- Initially local anaesthetic will be used to numb the skin and generally we avoid sedation as patient feedback during the injection can be useful.
- Using a combination of ultrasound or X-ray the specialist will guide the needle to the targeted area.
- After confirming placement a mixture of local anaesthetic and steroid is injected. Some may experience their pain reproduced during the injection- this is common.
- The area is cleaned and you will be transferred to a safe recovery area.
After The Procedure
- Once all your observations are stable and you have had something to eat and drink and are comfortable you will be discharged home.
- You may experience some numbness or tingling which should wear off within 6h.
- You can typically resume normal activities after 24h.
- You can continue your normal medications as needed.
- After the local anaesthetic has worn off the steroids can take up to one week to take effect
- If you have any concerns please contact our clinic nurse during office hours or the emergency department out of hours and our specialist will see you.
For Further Effectiveness
- For those who respond- pain relief can last 3-6 months. This can be repeated up to 3 times a year.
- It is easy and safe to perform, but can be short lived and some patients report no benefit.
- It is important to follow up the intervention with 4-6 sessions of physiotherapy in order to utilise the pain reduction window.
- The most common risk is a temporary increase in pain for 48h as the procedure is being performed in an area that is already sensitised. Simple analgesia can be used.
- Headaches can occur in 1: 150 cases.
- In very rare cases there can be temporary nerve trauma.