Intercostal Nerve Block
An intercostal nerve block is a drug injection that relieves discomfort in the chest caused by a herpes zoster infection (also known as “shingles”) or a surgical incision.
Each rib has its own set of intercostal nerves. It can produce pain if one of these nerves or the tissue around it becomes irritated or inflamed. Injecting a anti inflammatory medicine and a local anaesthetic under the rib can help reduce inflammation and pain.
It is also used for diagnostic purposes to figure out which nerve is causing discomfort.
When is an Intercostal Nerve Block Indicated?
- Shingles or post-herpetic neuralgia
- Chest wall surgery
- Chest wall trauma, to help with pain due to fractures
- Intercostal neuralgia
- Chest wall tumours
- Nerve entrapment syndrome
- Diagnostic nerve block
How is Intercostal Nerve Block Given?
An intravenous line will be secured prior to the procedure. With continuous monitoring & under aseptic precautions, local anaesthetic medicine is given to numb the targeted area. Under fluoroscopic guidance, intercostal nerve injection is performed.
How Much Time does the Intercostal Nerve Block Take?
The procedure takes about 20-30 minutes on average, and you can go home the same day.
What Should you do After an Intercostal Nerve Block?
After your intercostal nerve block, it is recommended not to drive or engage in any strenuous exercise for 24 hours. Take it easy on yourself. The next day, you can resume your regular activities and diet.
What is the Efficacy of an Intercostal Nerve Block?
Some people experience relief from pain right after the injection, but as the anaesthetic wears off, the discomfort may return a few hours later. Once the anti-inflammatory medicine begins to work, longer-term relief usually begins in two to three days.
Each patient’s pain alleviation lasts a varying amount of time. The relief can last several months for some people. If the treatment is effective, you can get injections on a regular basis to maintain your pain-free status.
Am I an Ideal Candidate for Intercostal Nerve Block?
An intercostal nerve block may be ideal if you’ve recently developed chest pain that hasn’t responded to conventional treatments.
What can be the Complications of an Intercostal Nerve Block?
An intercostal nerve block carries a very minimal risk of complications. However, bruising or pain at the injection site is possible. Infections ,breathing difficulty , nerve injury, and bleeding are uncommon consequences.
What are the Advantages of an Intercostal Nerve Block?
- Good , long lasting pain reilef
- Safe procedure with very low risk of complications
- quick procedure with same-day discharge
- quick recovery