FAQ Before Your Upcoming In-Office Procedure

FAQ Before Your Upcoming In-Office Procedure

Questions & Answers

I have an upcoming procedure, but do not know what time I am scheduled?

You should receive a reminder call, email or text 48 hours prior to the procedure with the date and time you are scheduled. If you need more information please call the office during normal business hours.

How long does the injection take?

While the injection time varies depending on your procedure, most of the procedures our doctors perform including nerve blocks and epidural injections take only several minutes. Some procedures, such as a radiofrequency ablation or spinal cord stimulator, may take up to 30-90 minutes. Your doctor will be able to tell you specifically how long your injection should take. Note: the total time may be longer if oral sedative medications are used, as additional time is needed to recover.

Will my injection hurt?

Local anesthetic in the form of lidocaine is administered at the injection site. In some cases, you may take an oral sedative medication to relax you prior to the procedure, and this may help you be more comfortable. Both of these work together to ensure your injection is as comfortable and pain-free as possible.

Can I eat, drink, or take my medicine prior to my injection?

You should not eat a heavy meal immediately preceding your injection. You may have a light meal, up to 60 minutes prior to your injection. You should take certain prescription medications including those for hypertension prior to your injection. These precautions are necessary in minimizing risk associated with the injection.

What medications need to be stopped prior to my procedure?

Any blood thinners including Aspirin 325mg, Coumadin (Warfarin), Plavix(Clopidogrel), and NSAIDS (Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Diclofenac, etc..) should be stopped 7 days prior to your injection unless otherwise noted by your prescribing doctor. Do not stop any blood thinners without approval from the prescribing doctor, presumably a cardiologist or primary care physician.

Do I need to stop my baby aspirin (81mg)?

No, this may be continued prior to the procedure without any risk.

What can I expect after my procedure?

While you may be comfortable the day of your procedure due to the local numbing medicine which is given, this will wear off throughout the course of the day. You may notice numbness in the distribution of any nerves targeted shortly after the procedure, which should wear off with the anesthetic. On average the steroid in the injection takes anywhere from 3 to 5 days to begin working on the inflammation, and subsequently reducing your pain symptoms.

Will I be able to drive myself for the procedure?

We always recommend you have a responsible driver with you for your procedure, though this is not always required. Please check with your doctor. If you do use an oral sedative prior to the procedure you must have a driver both to and from the office due to the sedation this may cause.

When can I return to work?

You may return to work the day following the procedure, provided you are comfortable enough to do so and were without complications.

I am a diabetic - will the injection affect my blood sugars?

Yes. The medication given in the injection is Depomedrol, which is a steroid. One of the effects steroids have on the body is increased blood sugar levels. Be sure to check your blood sugars multiple times a day for at least 1-2 weeks following your injection to closely monitor. If you have any specific questions regarding how to handle the increase in sugars following the procedure, contact your primary care physician or endocrinologist to obtain a treatment plan to control your sugars accordingly.

How long will my relief from the injection last?

Relief from any procedure can last anywhere from a few days to several months. You should be seen in the office 1- 2 weeks after the procedure for a reassessment of your pain and overall efficacy of the procedure.

If my pain returns, can I have the injection repeated?

Talk to your doctor specifically to find out if you are a candidate for a repeat injection. As a general rule, steroid injections can be repeated and are limited to typically 3-4 per year in the same area to reduce side effects. Your medical history and condition being treated significantly play into whether or not you are a good candidate for multiple injections.

How do I confirm or cancel my procedure?

You will be reminded of your upcoming procedure either by phone, email or text (based on your preference) approximately 48 hours before your appointment. Please confirm the appointment when prompted. If for any reason you must cancel, please do so 48 hours prior to avoid a cancellation fee of $50.