A NRSI is an injection placed into the sheath surrounding a nerve root in the spine. The exam uses therapeutic steroid and local anesthetic to decrease pain and inflammation. Pain relief from the procedure varies from minimal to long-term, depending on the specific symptoms.
NRSI’s are usually undertaken when a nerve is thought to be inflamed by a disc pressing on it or by scarring after back surgery or due to arthritis from a nearby spinal joint and other less common causes.

The procedure may take up to 30 minutes. The skin on your back will be cleaned with an antiseptic solution. The Specialist Radiologist will determine the exact location of the nerve root using CT imaging and will inject local anesthetic into the area. This may sting slightly for a short time. A needle is then directed into the space around the nerve using x-ray or CT imaging. The position of the needle tip and where the anesthetic and steroid have spread are checked with an injection of contrast. The local anesthetic and/or steroid is then injected.

Preparation

If you take Warfarin or other blood thinning agents, you will need to notify our staff as this may require cessation or blood tests prior to the procedure.Once at the practice, you will be required to change into a gown and asked to sign a consent form.
The local anesthetic may cause numbness in your leg (lumbar NRSI) or arm (cervical NRSI) similar to the facial numbness that occurs after a dental anesthetic. This may last 4 – 8 hours. Usually this sensation is present immediately and if it has not developed after half an hour, it may not at all. We like to keep you resting until normal sensation returns.
You are not able to drive yourself home therefore, you must organize a driver to bring you in and pick you up after the procedure. After the procedure, pain relief may be complete but transient. More often sustained pain relief develops over a period of a few days.

Please note,
NRSI procedures are not generally performed after 3 pm. A UMI Radiologist reviews your recent or current scan and provides you a detailed consultation prior to proceeding with the procedure.