The surgery center at which you were scheduled should contact you the day prior to your procedure to confirm your procedure time.
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 at the surgical center will be longer factoring in the time for anesthesia prior to the injection and the time needed for recovery afterwards.
At the surgical center, the procedures are performed with both local and IV anesthesia. Prior to the procedure, you will speak with an Anesthesiologist who will administer twilight sedation for your injection. Twilight sedation is a mild form of conscious sedation in which you will be comfortable and drowsy for a very short period of time while the injection is performed, however, during this time you have full ability to breathe on your own. Also, in addition to the IV sedation, local anesthetic in the form of lidocaine is administered at the injection site. Both of these work together to ensure your injection is as comfortable and pain-free as possible.
You should not eat or drink after midnight on the day preceding your injection. You may take certain prescription medications including those for hypertension prior to your injection with water only. Please refrain from any sugar-containing foods including gum and breath mints on the morning of your procedure. These precautions are necessary in minimizing risk associated with the anesthesia.
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.
Check with your physician performing the procedure first; however, in most cases a baby aspirin (Aspirin 81mg) may be continued prior to the injection.
While you will be comfortable the day of your procedure due to the anesthesia given, this anesthesia 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 anesthesia. The steroid in the injection takes anywhere from 2-5 days on average to begin working on the inflammation, and subsequently reducing your pain symptoms.
No. You will require a driver both to and from the surgical center due to the anesthesia given for the procedure.
You may return to work the day following the procedure, provided you are comfortable enough to do so and were without complications.
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.
Relief from any procedure can last anywhere from a few days to several months. You should be seen in the office 2- 4 weeks after the procedure for a reassessment of your pain and overall efficacy of the procedure.
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.
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 $200.