Stellate Ganglion Block

Stellate ganglion block for complex regional pain syndrome of the upper extremities

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, a condition also known as CRPS, can be challenging for those living with it. Pain from this condition extends into the shoulders, arm, and hands, making every movement more difficult. The symptoms can advance over time, moving from a finger or arm to encompassing both arms and shoulders. The pain from this condition can be distracting and exhausting, making enjoying day-to-day life difficult. Pain Management Services uses stellate ganglion blocks to address these cases when appropriate. This procedure provides meaningful relief to those suffering from CRPS, restoring quality of life.

Find Relief From Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex regional pain syndrome affects thousands of people. This syndrome, also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), can be effectively treated using stellate ganglion blocks. A ganglion is a point in your nervous system where multiple nerves intersect. The stellate ganglion is located in the neck at the seventh vertebrae. It makes up a portion of your sympathetic nervous system. Situated on either side of your trachea, it helps regulate body temperature, nerve pain, and more.

A stellate ganglion block is treated using a medication cocktail that is administered in the stellate ganglion. This medication includes an anesthetic and corticosteroid, which work together to block pain signals transmitted through this area. When successful, pain in the upper arm, chest, neck, and head can be eased or even fully relieved. It’s also possible for this block to enhance blood supply and circulation in the arms.

The stellate ganglion block procedure is routine and involves the following steps:

  • Dr. Cajigal will place an IV for sedation and fluid delivery
  • You will be set on a table on your back, your head slightly rotated
  • The target area on your neck will be cleaned and sterilized
  • A local anesthetic is used to ease discomfort
  • A small needle will be guided into place using fluoroscopy or ultrasound
  • The medication will be injected into the area

This whole procedure typically takes less than half an hour. After the medication has been injected, you will be taken to a recovery area. Observation will continue for 30 minutes to an hour to ensure there are no side effects. It’s essential that you have someone with you who will be able to drive you home. The treatment cannot be performed if you have not arranged transportation.

The following day you’ll be able to resume your typical day-to-day activities. You may experience difficulty speaking immediately after the procedure. You will also want to avoid eating solid foods until your voice begins to return. Start with drinking small sips of water, and introduce soft foods before moving on to solid foods.

Most patients report experiencing immediate relief from pain following the block. In some cases, you may feel the pain return a few hours after the procedure. This may mean that a series of injections are needed to maintain the pain relief, or radiofrequency ablation may be called for.

Get Relief From CRPS At Pain Management Services

There is hope for relief if you’re living with pain from complex regional pain syndrome. It starts with a call to our office in Des Peres, MO to arrange a consultation with Dr. Cajigal. They’ll provide you with options for treating your chronic pain and help you find relief.

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