Intercostal nerve block is defined to be an injection that helps in alleviating the pain felt in the chest area because of either herpes zoster infection or surgical incision. Basically these nerves are located under the rib and pain is felt when the nerves in this area or the ribs gets irritated eventually leading to chronic pain.
In order to cure this, a steroid medication or local anesthesia is injected under the rib that helps in reducing inflammation greatly.
How is the Procedure Carried Out!
- Your specialist will first give you an intravenous medication that will provide you utmost relaxation
- You will then be asked to lie on your side where pain is not being felt
- The skin area near the ribs is then cleaned with an antiseptic solution
- Under the rib a thin needle is inserted with anesthesia
- Through x-ray guidance a second needle is inserted after which a steroid pain medication is injected
The whole process is normally carried out in less than 30 minutes after which the patient can go home easily
The Efficacy Of Intercostal Nerve Block
For some patients, the pain is relieved right after the injection. However, when the anesthesia wears off the pain starts again. Complete relief is experienced in two to three days of time when the steroid begins to work.
The pain relief usually varies from person to person. For some patients the relief for months and others can also opt for the option of having periodic injections.
After the intercostal nerve block procedure is carried out, the patient is advised to avoid any rigorous activity for 24 hours. However, he/she can continue the normal activities from the next day.
Below elaborated are the conditions treated with Intercostal nerve block:
- Post operative pain as a result of chest wall surgeries
- Non-malignant pain
- Pain due to fracture in the rib, shingles (herpes zoster) or post herpetic neuralgia
- Pain because of malignancies
In case you have had a surgical incision or you are facing shingles, then intercostals nerve block is the right option for you.
If you or any of your loved one is suffering from some any chest pain or any other body pain, get a professional advice from Dr. Zaki Anwar by placing an appointment at (815) 464-7212). He is an expert anesthesiologist and certified Pain Management Specialist who has been practicing pain relief techniques for the past several years with effective results.