Q: What happens when I come in for the procedure?
A: Upon getting to the office, you will be asked to sign in and sign consent forms. You will be put in a room where the nurse will talk to you and get your vital signs. If you are getting sedation, the anesthesiologist will come in to discuss the anesthesia procedure and medications. You will then be asked to change into a medical exam gown. You will be brought to the procedure room and asked to lie down on your belly. A fluoroscopy (a type of xray) machine will be brought closer to the table. The physician will clean and drape your back and take images with the xray. After local anesthetic is applied to the area of skin to be entered, a needle is guided into the target area using the fluoroscopy for accuracy and safety. Non-ionic contrast medium is then injected to ensure proper needle placement. After ensuring proper needle placement, a combination of local anesthetic and corticosteroid is injected into the target area to block the small nerves.
Q: What are the risks or possible side effects with these procedures?
A: Like any procedure involving needles, there is a risk for bleeding and infection. More common side effects include muscle soreness, or bruising. With some of the procedures, temporary weakness of the legs may be experienced after. With any procedure that involves corticosteroids, blood sugar level may be temporarily elevated especially in diabetic patients.
Q: I am afraid of needles. How can I get the procedure? Will the needles be big?
A: You will not see the needles during the procedure. The needle length will vary depending on the depth from the skin to the spine. An option for patients with anxiety over needles is to undergo the procedure under sedation.
Q: What medications will be injected into my back?
A: The medications commonly used in the MBB are anesthetic (numbing) and antiinflammatory agents. The medications are usually Lidocaine, Bupivacaine, and Depo Medrol ( a type of steroid)