Why is this procedure done?
Ramus Communicans Injections are used to aid in confirming the diagnosis of a painful disc and to determine if a treatment, Ramus Communication Radiofrequency ablation, will help provide extended control of your pain. If you receive significant relief, this will indicate the disc(s) are causing your pain. It will also indicate radiofrequency ablation will potentially be helpful in controlling your symptoms.

How do I prepare for the 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 Lumbar Ramus Comminicans injection you will lie on the exam table on your stomach. Please stay as still as you can. The skin over the injection site(s) is cleaned. A local anesthetic numbs the skin. After the numbing medicine has been given time to be effective, the physician directs a needle, using x-ray guidance to the side of the vertebrae, where the ramus Communicans is located. A contrast or “dye” may be injected to confirm placement of the needle. Then, a small mixture of numbing medicine (anesthetic) is injected.

What are the side effects?
In general, a ramus Communicans injection is a safe procedure. You may experience soreness at the injections sites. Serious side effects or complications are uncommon with these injections. However, similar to all injection procedures, adverse effects are possible. The risks include but are not limited to: allergic reaction to the medication, bruising at the injection site, and infection. To help prevent infection the procedure is performed under sterile conditions. 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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