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Post-Procedure Instructions for Pain Management

Following a neurosurgical procedure (interventional pain management injection), you may have questions about your recovery. The information below will help answer your questions and provide you with instructions for follow-up care.

Care Instructions and Restrictions

  • Injection site: Bandages may be removed the day of the procedure. Notify the office if there is excessive drainage or bleeding from the injection site.
  • Activity: Rest for the remainder of the day after your procedure if possible. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery for 24 hours following the procedure. Never drink alcoholic beverages while taking prescription medications. Always have assistance with walking and stairs during the first 24 hours.
  • Diet: Return to your regular diet as tolerated. If you are a diabetic, please check your blood sugar frequently.
  • Bathing: Showers or baths may be taken the same day as a procedure. Use caution and assistance as needed if legs are weak or numb.
  • Medications: Take medications as directed. Contact the office if the medication regimen is not working. Do NOT change your dosage without calling the office.

Expected Side Effects Following the Procedure

Most procedures performed include a combination of a steroid and local anesthetic medication. These medications will decrease the inflammation in your back, thus decreasing the pain. The local anesthetic medication works immediately, so you may have some relief right away.

The steroid may take up to 10-14 days before you can feel the full effects. As with all procedures, you may have side effects. The following is a list of the most common side effects that may occur.

  • Increased pain at the injection site. You may use ice for this (heat for the first 24 hours).
  • Increase in blood sugar for a few days after the procedure. Notify us or your PCP if it is too high.
  • Numbness in the legs/arms. Call the office if this lasts longer than 24 hours.
  • Short-term appetite increase
  • Water retention or swelling
  • Increased blood pressure. Notify us or your PCP if excessive.
  • Decreased immunity
  • Restlessness or difficulty sleeping
  • Facial flushing/redness and/or hot flashes

The preceding symptoms are transient and should subside within a short period of time. You should have a follow-up appointment in a few weeks after your procedure. This appointment should be kept or moved up if any of the following symptoms persist.

  • Increase in pain
  • Development of a fever (greater than 100.5)
  • Excessive redness, swelling, bleeding or discharge at the injection site
  • Continuous shortness of breath, cough, and/or painful breathing
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting and unable to tolerate clear liquids for 6-8 hours
  • Persistent headache
  • Numbness (that was not a previous symptom) lasting more than 24 hours
  • The inability to move arm or leg, new weakness that is more than 24 hours and/or severe headache that persists more than 2 hours
  • Difficulty walking
  • Changes in bladder/bowel control and function
  • Chest pain

For additional information, please contact Mischer Neuroscience Associates at (713) 704-7100.