Intercostal Nerve Block
An Intercostal Nerve Block is a procedure to place a local anesthetic and steroid medication (an anti-inflammatory medication) into the area near your rib which is causing your pain.
What to expect after this procedure:
- Temporary relief of pain until the local anesthetic wears off
- Some soreness at the injection site for 2-3 days
- Slow onset (3-5 days) for the steroid to start working
- 10-14 day duration of action for the steroid
- Use warm, moist heat or ice packs for soreness at the injection sites
- Take over-the-counter medications for soreness
- Use medication prescribed by your physician
- Prescription sent home with you today
- You may resume previous level of activity today as tolerated.
- You may resume your normal diet.
- The steroid may cause temporary weight gain, swelling of the hands or feet, irregular menstrual cycle, hot flashes, or facial flushing. These symptoms will subside as the steroid tapers off.
- If you are diabetic, you may see a temporary rise in your blood sugar. Notify your physician if the levels are above the limit set by your physician.
Notify your physician if you experience:
- Sign of infection such as fever above 100 degrees, chills, redness, swelling or drainage at the site of the injection.
- Shortness of breath, persistent coughing, or chest pain.
- If you do not already have a follow-up appointment and your pain is not improved after 7-10 days, call to schedule a return appointment with your physician at the Pain Center.
Please feel free to contact your physician by calling us Monday - Thursday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. or Friday 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at (563) 421-3555 if you have any questions regarding your care. Please leave a phone mail message after hours or on weekends.
Important Note: We are available for medication refill phone calls only during normal business hours Monday - Friday. Should you require emergency care, call your referring physician or come to the Genesis Emergency Room.