Thoracic Intercostal Nerve Block Procedure
The Thoracic Intercostal Nerve Block Procedure is an injection next to the rib of your back containing the Thoracic Intercostal Nerve, which is the likely cause of your upper/middle back and/or flank pain.
Why is a Thoracic Intercostal Nerve Block Procedure helpful?
It is helpful in the diagnosis and treatment of your upper/middle back and/or flank pain, which is likely due to a disorder of your Thoracic Intercostal Nerve. One medication is used for the injection: a long-acting anti-inflammatory steroid agent. At first, you may or may not experience temporary pain relief after the injection. Then, after 48 to 72 hours, you will likely experience pain relief after the injection due to the effects of the long anti-inflammatory steroid agent.
What happens during a Thoracic Intercostal Nerve Block Procedure?
You will be asked to lie on your stomach on the procedure table. (If you choose to have IV sedation, you will not experience the following steps of the procedure.) The skin of your upper-middle back at the injection site will be cleaned with an anti-bacterial solution. You will experience an initial sting at the injection site, as the skin will be numbed with a local anesthetic numbing agent. Then, the doctor will guide the procedure needle by way of real-time x-ray to the target structure of your rib for injection of the long-acting anti-inflammatory steroid agent. The injection procedure itself will be brief, usually lasting less than 10 minutes.
What happens after a Thoracic Intercostal Nerve Block Procedure?
You will be observed for at least 15 minutes in the recovery room for your response to the injection. Your oxygen level, blood pressure, pulse rate, and respiratory rate will be monitored in the recovery room. You may become a little sore at the soft tissues of the procedure site, which is normal and to be expected. You may apply an ice-pack to the sore area of the procedure site. The soreness at the procedure site should go away in a couple of days. It usually takes 48 to 72 hours to experience pain relief from the longer-acting anti-inflammatory steroid agent.
Can I go to work the next day after a Thoracic Intercostal Nerve Block Procedure?
You can return to work the next day.