In this procedure, the patient lies on the stomach and is given a local anesthetic to numb the lower back. Next, the physician uses a fluoroscope to confirm that the injection solution is making its way to the correct location in the lumbar spine. A contrast dye is also injected that is specifically made to light upon the physician's fluoroscope monitor. After confirming the location, the physician injects a solution of anti-inflammatory medication and anesthesia. Finally, the patient is bandaged and released with post-operative instructions for rest at home.
This procedure’s primary purpose is to treat pain, but it is also sometimes administered for diagnostic purposes. When the patient experiences pain relief following the procedure, the physician can then confirm that the pain is coming from the sympathetic nerves in the lumbar spine.