South Tees back pain triage and treat patients who have sciatica have direct access to nerve root block injections if appropriate. Nerve root block injections can also be referred to as transforaminal epidural injections.
South Tees Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has a dedicated specialist nurse who is highly trained in delivering nerve root block injections to patients with sciatica.
Nerve root block injections can be used to diagnose and treat sciatica. Lumbar spine disc related changes can sometimes cause nerve root irritation. The nerve root block injection puts medication along the affected nerve root and into the epidural space at the site of irritation. The use of local anaesthetics and corticosteroids can reduce the nerve root irritation and can increase blood flow in the area leading to a reduction in pain.
The procedure is carried out as a day case within the operating theatre or the neuro-radiology department using state-of-the-art x-ray equipment. Patients will be asked to give written consent before the procedure and will have a period of recovery before discharge home on the same day.
Nerve root blocks can be performed for sciatica to help other treatments such as medication or exercise be more effective. Research has shown that 50% of patient that receive a nerve root block injection at an early stage may not require further procedures.
Patients with sciatica who have a nerve root block injection generally get maximum improvement within six weeks. Although, a nerve root block injection is not generally a cure for the cause of pain, it is used to help reduce the level of pain to allow patients to resume normal life again.
For further information about sciatica see our 10 sciatica facts patient information booklet and for further details about nerve root block injections see the information booklet below.