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Doctor insights on: Lumbar Sympathetic Block

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Dr. Qamar Khan
51 Doctors shared insights

Lumbar Sympathetic Block (Overview)

A lumbar sympathetic block is an injection of local anesthetic around the sympathetic nerves. These sympathetic nerves are a part of the sympathetic nervous system. The nerves are located on the either side of spine, in the lower back.


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Who does lumbar sympathetic block?

Who does lumbar sympathetic block?

See below: Lumbar sympathetic blocks are usually performed by a pain medicine physician trained in interventional procedures. ...Read more

Dr. Qamar Khan
51 Doctors shared insights

Lumbar Sympathetic Block (Overview)

A lumbar sympathetic block is an injection of local anesthetic around the sympathetic nerves. These sympathetic nerves are a part of the sympathetic nervous system. The nerves are located on the either side of spine, in the lower back.


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What's a lumbar sympathetic block procedure?

What's a lumbar sympathetic block procedure?

Local anesthesia: This is a block in which a local anesthesia is injected into the lumbar plexus of nerves to alleviate the symptoms of nerve irritation. ...Read more

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How common is it for someone to need a lumbar sympathetic block?

Not very, may need..: The sympathetic nerves coming out of the lower spine, lumbar, send pain impulses down the legs when overstimulated in problems like herniated lumbar discs, severe degenerative arthritis, tumors pressing on lower spinal cord... If pain or arthritic meds, electrical stimulation devices (implantable), epidural injections, morphine pumps all don't control pain, may need to destroy pain nerves to legs. ...Read more

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Is an IV necessary for safety during a lumbar sympathetic block?

Is an IV necessary for safety during a lumbar sympathetic block?

Yes: IV during invasive procedures is necessary for administration of sedation if needed, or in case of blood pressure changes, administration of fluids or medications. Thanks for trusting HealthTap! ...Read more

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What is the definition or description of: lumbar sympathetic block?

What is the definition or description of: lumbar sympathetic block?

Sympathetic block: A lumbar sympathetic block is an injection of local anesthetic around the sympathetic nerves. These sympathetic nerves are a part of the sympathetic nervous system. The nerves are located on the either side of spine, in the lower back. ...Read more

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What is the spacing for lumbar sympathetic blocks? A month in between each?

What is the spacing for lumbar sympathetic blocks? A month in between each?

Varies: Some doctors complete these blocks in quick succession. Others space them periodically once results ware off. Apparently your MD is addressing CRPS symptoms following a surgery with residuals but we need more information and I am making some assumptions. There are other adjunctive approaches to explore at the same time we can discuss further or you can do with your Physical Therapist.Keep me posted ...Read more

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How long on average does the first lumbar sympathetic block provide relief?

Epidural steroids: Normally the effects are seen within 24-48 hours but can take as long as 1 week. It depends on several factors such as the amount of inflammation, the cause for your never root pain, degree of disc herniation, continuation of activities that may cause the disc to flare up etc. If it does not give you much relief after the initial 2 days, the problem may be whether the drug went to the right place! ...Read more

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Is it not worth repeating the lumbar sympathetic block if it only helped for 24hours?

Depends: It depends on what the expectations were with the administration of the block. Suggest you discuss this with your physician who was involved in recommending this procedure and/or the treating physician, if different. ...Read more

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How long should the first lumbar sympathetic block provide me relief to consider getting a second?

Variable: Sympathetic block gives variable amount of relief. For sympathetic mediated pain I've seen relief in my patients for a month. For blood flow problems, the relief can be very short lived. The sympathetic blocks may be a test to see if pain is sympathetic mediated and there be other ways to get relief. Talk to your doctor about it. Goodluck ...Read more

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I was wondering if a lumbar sympathetic block would hurt more on a larger person or a leaner fit person?

I was wondering if a lumbar sympathetic block would hurt more on a larger person or a leaner fit person?

Same: THe only diference being the larger person will have difficult landmarks and require the injector to be inserted through a larger longer tissue area ...Read more

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On an approximate basis- if I find relief from my first lumbar sympathetic block after how long should I get my second or third? Once again approxima

On an approximate basis- if I find relief from my first lumbar sympathetic block after how long should I get my second or third? Once again approxima

Depends: People use different steroids (assuming you had one) at different concentrations which usually is the determining factor in how long you go between shots. ...Read more

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I had my first lumbar sympathetic block on 9/30. I was completely pain free on 9/30 and 10/1. My pain came back this morning. Should I consider a 2nd?

Talk to the doctor: Well, unfortunately, that's one of the drawbacks of these sorts of injections. Let's assume for a moment that operator (the injector) did everything absolutely correctly, used the correct dose of medication, and the placement was impeccable....in fact, your pain was gone for 48 hrs. But then, it reared it's ugly head. Sometimes that happens for unknown reasons. Notify the doctor. ...Read more

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Lumbar sympathetic block provided me relief for only two days. I was in no pain in those two day. Should I get another one to see if I get longer reli?

Yes: Generally sympathetic blocks are done in a series to provide more sustained relief. However if you are receiving enough relief after 3-4 blocks, then you might want to consider spinal cord stimulation. ...Read more

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What are the risks from having many lumbar sympathetic blocks?

Rare: The most common side effect is temporary pain or soreness at the injection site. Uncommon risks involve bleeding, infection, spinal block, epidural block and injection into blood vessels and surrounding organs. Fortunately, the serious side effects and complications are uncommon. You can have quite a few blocks without additional risks. ...Read more

Dr. Eli Loch Dr. Loch
1 doctor agreed:
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Is the lumbar sympathetic block painful without sedation?

Dr. Eli Loch Dr. Loch
1 doctor agreed:
Is the lumbar sympathetic block painful without sedation?

Possibly: An lsb is usually done with skin local anesthesia first. This will cut down on the discomfort but once they get to the deep muscles it may get uncomfortable. That being said, people do it without sedation all the time and do just fine. Hope this helps! ...Read more

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Three sets of lumbar sympathetic blocks? How much time in between for all three? Weeks or months?

2-4 weeks: Most physicians wait about 2-4 weeks between blocks and limit it to 3 in a 6 month period ...Read more

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How would a lumbar sympathetic block help with Raynaud's syndrome? Very painful Raynaud's syndrome.

Sympathectomy: Lumbar sympathetic block stops the sympathetic supply to your lower extremities and stellate ganglion block does the same to the upper extremities. These sympathetic blocks can improve blood flow but there are risks with these procedures with Raynaud's syndrome. Discuss the risks, benefits and alternatives with your doctor and good luck. I hope you find some relief soon. ...Read more

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What if a lumbar sympathetic block was performed and let's say I never even had mild crps? And the diagnoses was wrong. What would happen?

What if a lumbar sympathetic block was performed and let's say I never even had mild crps? And the diagnoses was wrong. What would happen?

Nothing: If the sympathetic block worked then for a short period of time you may have a warm lower limb but other than that nothing will happen. On a side note, its a good thing you don't have crps. ...Read more

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I had a lumbar sympathetic block on my left side. The top of my thigh has been number and I can't feel myself touching my thigh. Is that expected?

Sympathetic NB: A sympathetic nerve block is a procedure used for SMP and is a relatively safe procedure. Side effects after a sympathetic block may include temporary soreness, numbness and weakness. In many cases a block may provide amelioration for weeks or months. Take care. ...Read more

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Side effects of lumbar sympathetic block? Painful? How long does the procedure take? And what should I expect afterwards in regards to pain relief?

Not painful: Lumbar sympathetic blocks are used for diagnoses like Complex regional pain syndrome. Is that your diagnosis? They aren"t painful & only take a few i.e. 20-30minutes. These blocks can be either 1 time or multiple injections over a period of time & usually help nerve related pain. The benefit can be days to months afterwards and your doctor will follow you closely to see how much benefit was achieved. ...Read more

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Is the "numbing" part of the lumbar sympathetic block painful? Should I be able to tolerate w/o sedation. I'm a student, very busy, no being in daze-

It can be painful.: Would recommend the use of short acting sedating agents that do not have lingering sedation effect after the surgery is complete. Unwise to proceed with the procedure w/o sedation for it can be a painful procedure. ...Read more

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Why would a doctor consider doing a lumbar sympathetic block on a patient?

Variety of reasons: A lumbar sympathetic block is performed to block the sympathetic nerves that go to the leg on the same side as the injection. This may in turn reduce pain, swelling, color, sweating and other unusual changes in the lower extremity and may improve mobility. It is done as a part of the treatment of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), Sympathetic Maintained Pain, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and Herpes Zoster (shingles) involving the legs. Certain patients with neuropathy or peripheral vascular disease may also benefit from lumbar sympathetic blocks. ...Read more

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Can a lumbar sympathetic block help with severe tingling in the feet?

Can a lumbar sympathetic block help with severe tingling in the feet?

Yes it can: This can be an excellent treatment modality. May take up to three injections before its effective. Hang in there this is much better than surgery. ...Read more

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Can lumbar sympathetic blocks help someone who constantly has very cold feet?

Can lumbar sympathetic blocks help someone who constantly has very cold feet?

Cold feet: Sympathetic blocks will help determine if more definitive treatment can be offered like Neuromodulation. Sympathetic blocks are not therapeutic if its just cold legs alone. Also you would not want to have numerous sympathetic blocks they they can cause more problems if too many are done. ...Read more

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Going to have lumbar sympathetic block for pmy foot. Will I still have feeling?

Going to have lumbar sympathetic block for pmy foot. Will I still have feeling?

Anesthesia: A lumbar sympathetic block is a type of anesthesia. Anesthesia causes a loss of sensation which can be temporary and reversible. ...Read more

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Pain management doctors- what conditions or diseases do you use a lumbar sympathetic block to treat?

SMP: A lumbar sympathetic block is used to treated sympathetically mediated pain of one of the lower extremities. This would include conditions such as complex regional pain syndrome. ...Read more

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I had a lumbar sympathetic block for my leg yesterday at my pain clinic. Am I cured?

I had a lumbar sympathetic block for my leg yesterday at my pain clinic. Am I cured?

Blocks: If you were in pain before the treatment and now the pain has subsided, hopefully it worked. ...Read more

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Going to have a lumbar sympathetic block in my foot. Will I walk ok afterwards?

Going to have a lumbar sympathetic block in my foot. Will I walk ok afterwards?

Yes: A lumbar sympathetic block is actually not in your foot but in your back where the sympathetic nerve trunk runs on either side of the vertebral column. If the block works well, you should feel increased warmth in your foot and it also might get a little swollen. This is normal after such a block and it will go away. The leg may feel a little "funny" but you should be able to walk. ...Read more

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Can a lumbar sympathetic block cause a person's feet to sweat excessively?

Can a lumbar sympathetic block cause a person's feet to sweat excessively?

It's possible: But not likely. A sympathetic block block done correctly would treat hyper hydrides of the feet ...Read more

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I had my first lumbar sympathetic block and my foot is completely pain free. How long will it stay like this? Should I get the second?

Unpredictable: Lumbar sympathetic blockade can sometimes last forever. In many cases temporary pain relief is obtained and repeated injections can sometimes cause the progressive lessening of symptoms. The number of blocks varies between 2-10. Ask your Interventional neurologist for more information. Good luck. ...Read more

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If I continue doing active and passive pt and get a lumbar sympathetic block when I'm home from school. Should I have a good chance of beating crps?

If I continue doing active and passive pt and get a lumbar sympathetic block when I'm home from school. Should I have a good chance of beating crps?

Moderate; alternativ: I'm not a fan of sympathetic blocks or PT for CRPS. Newer, controversial idea is that CRPS is due to inflammaction of peripheral nerves. 1 approach would be to try applying Vit. D cream to the skin, if you can touch it, or Prologel. Vit B complex (esp. B12) orally. If you get some response, you may be able to eventually tolerate neuroprolotherapy which can calm the nerves & stop the pain. ...Read more

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For mild to moderate (pain varies) crps of leg, approximately how many lumbar sympathetic blocks? One? Three?

CPRS: Typically if 1 does not provide any response then a lot of doctors will stop there. Some doctors may try a 2nd to completely rule out any benefit. I would not go for 3 if the 1st 2 fail. ...Read more

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Lumbar sympathetic block provided no relief for burning pain, what other interventional treatments are available?

Dual non-traditional: Burning=virtually always neurologic origin. Contrary to typical approach like blocks of spinal nerves, new & 150 yr old evidence shows most such pain is due to peripheral nerves, not central. Osteopathic history & exam may give info about structural causes (ex. Pinching of nerves) & manipulation may correct. Additionally, neuroprolotherapy (relatively new procedure)-very effective for this pain type. ...Read more

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For crps, when will a doctor continue doing lumbar sympathetic blocks? How many approximately if I feel better after the first one and subsequent ones

For crps, when will a doctor continue doing lumbar sympathetic blocks? How many approximately if I feel better after the first one and subsequent ones

CRPS: As long as each works with both a prolongation in duration of relief and a decrease in pain severity when pain returns then continued blocks may be justified. There is no magic number. Current recommendation suggest that continued blocks in the long run do not help and may cause more problems. ...Read more

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Can a lumbar sympathetic block help with burning feet and leg?

Can a lumbar sympathetic block help with burning feet and leg?

Sympathetic block: Can help. Management of SMP may involve a series of sympathetic blocks leading to down- regulation of adrenoreceptors, thereby inducing long-term elimination of SMP. In cases of SMP that are refractory to sympathetic blocks, a surgical sympathectomy may be recommended. ...Read more

Dr. Milroy Samuel
1 Doctor shared a insight

Lumbar (Definition)

Refers to something related to the area about the lower part of the ...Read more