The nerves located under each rib are called intercostal nerves because of some injuries and incision the tissues along these nerves showcase the symptoms of inflammation or soreness between the ribs and the chest wall, the intercostal nerve block is an injection to relieve pain and inflammation caused by certain tissues basically these injections contain steroids and other drugs that help in soothing pain and soreness.
Usually pain after chest surgery and Herpes Zoster or shingles can be well treated by intercostal nerve block
How it is performed
The whole procedure is done with the patient resting on the one side of the chest, leaving the side to be treated facing up, the skin of the area treated is cleaned with antiseptic solution and the injection is infused
The injection is filled with local sleep inducer and steroids combined with other drugs, as the process is done without any incision with a small, thin needle therefore no seduction is applied, however the tissues are numbed as the local anesthesia is infused but there might a little pain because the needle is inserted into the skin and deeper tissues
Commonly no such side effects have been observed of the intercostal nerve block. However, minor side effects may include pain and swelling at the injection area, but it will last in a short period of time. Other side effects that are very rare may include infection, bruising, bleeding or in very rare case damaged lungs. As the needle infuse is closer to the lungs, there is a chance of lung damage but it is really uncommon
What to expect after surgery
Just after the procedure you will feel like your pain has been relieved this is due to the use of local anesthesia, but as the numbness lasts you will feel more pain for a couple of days but by the third day your pain will be more relieved
After the surgery, it is recommended that you can carry on with your moderate routinely tasks you can drive back to home, go to work. The only thing you will experience is a sore spot that can be treated with an ice pack to relieve soreness
The effects of the treatment last for months in case if symptoms appear you may go for more injections, however, only one injection may not relieve your pain you need to take at least two injections with a gap of one week
Who should not take an intercostal nerve block?
If you are experiencing any sort of ongoing infection, heart disease, diabetes or weak lungs or even if you’re taking any medications or blood thinning drugs then intercostal nerve block may not be a good option for you. If you think that postponing this treatment may help your medical condition get better you can postpone