Sciatic Nerve Block

What is a Piriformis/Sciatic Nerve Block?

The sciatic nerve can be compressed at many sites. The nerve leaves the pelvis through the sciatic notch where it lies under the Piriformis muscle. This is the most frequent site of sciatic nerve entrapment and is called piriformis syndrome. Sciatic nerve entrapment can lead to buttock pain and pain that radiates down the back of the leg to the foot.

What is the purpose of the injection?

The purpose of this block is for diagnosis and treatment of sciatic nerve entrapment and irritation.

What is injected?

The injection consists of a mixture of a local anesthetic and steroid.

Will the injection hurt?

The procedure involves inserting a needle through skin and deeper tissues. There is some discomfort involved. However, the skin and deeper tissues are numbed with a local anesthetic.

What are the risks and side effects?

With any procedure there are risks, side effects and possibility of complications. Some leg numbness and weakness is possible. Risks also include infection and bleeding.

What should I expect after the injection?

After the injection, you may feel that your pain has decreased which is a result of the local anesthetic. After the anesthetic wears off, you may have an increase in pain for the next 2-5 days, then you should begin to see an improvement. This pain is due to the process of the needle insertion as well as the initial irritation from the steroid itself. Use of ice is encouraged.

What should I do to prepare for the procedure?

To prepare for the procedure, do the following:

  1. Bring a list of your current medications, allergies and surgeries with dates if known.
  2. Notify the Pain Management Center if you are pregnant or have an infection.
  3. You may take routine medications including pain medication.
  4. You must not eat or drink 6 hours prior to your procedure.
  5. You must have a driver with you.

What should I expect the day of the procedure?

  1. Your medical history will be reviewed.
  2. You will be monitored during and for a minimum of 30 minutes after the procedure.
  3. You are advised to go home and rest. 
  4. After the procedure you may eat.  Normal medications may be resumed.