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Selective Nerve Root Blocks

Selective nerve root blocks (SNR) are a variation of the transforaminal epidural steroid injection technique. (See epidural steroid injections.) The overall process is similar to a transforaminal injection, but a low volume/ anesthetic-rich injectate is utilized. This serves to isolate an individual nerve root. As a diagnostic procedure, SNR can help identify the pain generator. The steroid component provides the therapeutic benefit. SNR blocks are often requested by spine surgeons when surgical intervention is being contemplated.

What to Expect:

  • The procedure will be performed in an operation room with conscious sedation.

  • The procedure may or may not provide pain relief.

  • Your symptoms may feel worse in the first few days.
  • After the procedure, patients will take the rest of the day off.
  • You will be able to resume normal daily activities the next day.
  • You will be asked to refrain from eating or drinking for the six hours leading up to your procedure.
  • A driver will need to take you home after the procedure.