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Nerve Block Instructions

This section will tell what to do before and after any nerve block.

Diagnostic and therapeutic blocks are relatively minor interventional procedures which rarely have any significant side effects.  The procedure will be explained by Dr. Long if you have not had one before.  You may eat, drink, and take all medicines before the block.  Do Not Fast!  If you take blood thinners, be sure to tell Dr. Long.  Please show up on time!  Have someone drive you home if possible.  You may resume full activity immediately after the block.  Sometimes increased local pain occurs.  If it does, pain medication such as aspirin or Tylenol should be adequate.  If you have a specific pain drug which you use, take that.  Ice applied to the area in the first several hours followed by heat the next day after will sometimes reduce this local pain if it is annoying.  You may resume full activities when you feel like it.

Occasionally, the block will affect nerve function and an extremity may become weak or numb.  This is a temporary event and will disappear in one or two hours.  It is nothing to worry about.  It is exactly like your face being numb when a dentist has frozen a tooth to work on it.  It will go away without side effects.  Simply relax, be careful, and do not try to walk or do anything without assistance so that you do not fall.  As soon as the symptoms are gone you can resume full activities.

There are two important parts of the block.  The first is what happens in the first one to two hours after the procedure.  How is the pain?  Pay special attention to that point.  Then the long-term effect is important.  Let us know in about one week how you are feeling and what the effects of the block have been.

Sometimes more than one block is required and if it appears a second or third may be useful this will be discussed with you by Dr. Long.  Some fail the first time and additional blocks are helpful.

Blocks often give relief for months or even longer.  Some people need one.  Some need 2 or 3 per year.  If the pain starts returning call before it gets too bad so another block can be scheduled.