The stellate ganglion is a collection of nerves found at the last vertebra of the neck. These nerves are part of the sympathetic nervous system and supply the arms and face. If the stellate ganglion nerves are traumatized or infected, a patient may experience pain. In order to alleviate this pain, a nerve block needs to be performed. OPTIMAL Pain & Regenerative Medicine® physicians are skilled at performing a stellate ganglion block for patients in the Dallas, Arlington and Fort Worth, Texas area.
Why Perform a Stellate Ganglion Block?
A stellate ganglion block is performed to create a nerve block to the sympathetic nerves that go to the arms and face. This in turn may reduce pain and swelling and improve mobility in patients who suffer from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Herpes Zoster (shingles) and other conditions.
How is a Stellate Ganglion Block Performed?
This particular nerve block only takes a few minutes. Many patients can expect to receive an intravenous medication to relax before the procedure. Once relaxed, the physician will insert a thin needle filled with a local anesthetic into the region where the stellate ganglion lies. Then, the physician will use x-ray guidance to insert a second needle filled with an anesthetic medication.
How Effective is a Stellate Ganglion Block?
This nerve block procedure is considered effective for many patients. Some patients report pain relief immediately following the stellate ganglion block. This pain will sometimes return when the local anesthetic wears off. Some patients will have a longer term effect and be pain free for weeks.
Are there Risks Involved with a Stellate Ganglion Block?
The risk rate is low with a stellate ganglion block. Some patients may experience pain, bruising and soreness in the injection site. Some patients may experience side effects such as teary eyes, drooping eyelids, nasal stuffiness, difficulty swallowing or warmness in the arms and hands. These side effects normally diminish within a few hours after the nerve block.
A stellate ganglion block may be the right nerve block procedure for you if other pain management options have failed. If you live in the Dallas, Arlington and Fort Worth, Texas area and would like more information, please contact OPTIMAL Pain & Regenerative Medicine®.