Why is this procedure done?
Dorsal root ganglion injection is a procedure used to confirm a particular nerve is causing your symptoms or radicular pain. They work mostly on leg symptoms and/or pain. The lumbar dorsal root ganglion injection may help the injury to heal by reducing inflammation. It will provide temporary relief or if cortisone is used in the injection, it may provide a longer period of relief.

How do I prepare for this procedure?
You should not eat for 4 hours before the procedure. You can take any routine medications before the procedure. You will need to bring a driver to take you home. If you have any changes in your medical condition or are feeling sick, you should contact our office to inform our staff. You should stop all blood thinners, such as: Coumadin, Plavix, aspirin and most arthritis medications. You should stop herbal medicines and supplements one week before the procedure.

What happens during this procedure?
For the injection, you will lie on the exam table on your stomach. Please stay as still as you can. The skin over the injection site is cleaned. A local anesthetic numbs the skin. After the numbing medicine has been given time to be effective, the physician directs a small needle, using x-ray guidance next to the dorsal root ganglion. A contrast “dye” may be injected into the region to confirm the needle is near the ganglion. Then, a small mixture of numbing medicine (anesthetic) and possibly anti-inflammatory (cortisone/steroid) is injected.

What are the side effects?
In general, a dorsal root ganglion injection is a safe procedure. Serious side effects or complications are rare with these injections. However, similar to all injection procedures adverse effects are possible. The most common complications include bleeding and bruising at the needle puncture site, post-procedure headaches, and light headedness or dizziness immediately following the procedure. Other very rare complications include but are not limited to a hematoma and infection. The area the nerve covers in your leg may feel numb for several hours. This is not a complication. Please discuss any specific concerns with your physician.

What happens after this procedure?
After the procedure, you will be able to go home and rest. You may do desk or table level activities. You should not return to work until the next day. You will need a driver to take you home. If you are sore after the injection, you may apply ice to the area.

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