The Vault

Lumbar Sympathetic Block

Patients with reflex sympathetic dystrophy of the lower limbs are candidates for this procedure. An IV will be started and you will be placed on the table face down. A live x-ray will identify the proper vertebral body. A needle is gently advanced to the anterior body of the vertebral body and dye is injected. Careful attention is paid to prevent uptake into a vessel. Once this is confirmed, local anesthetic is given and the procedure is complete. An elevation in temperature of the affected limb is indicative of a successful block.

Often patients need a series of these injections to achieve lasting results. As mentioned previously, early and aggressive intervention is key to preventing lasting disability from this condition.