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Lumbar Nerve Root Injection


A lumbar nerve root injection is a procedure to inject medicines at the nerve roots of your lumbar (lower back) spine. A nerve root is the area where the nerves branch out from the spinal cord. This procedure is done to decrease inflammation and pain.


Before your procedure:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • You may be given medicine right before your procedure. This medicine may make you feel relaxed and sleepy.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

During your procedure:

  • You are asked to lie on your stomach, with your body slightly turned to the side. A medicine called local anesthesia is given to help control pain during the procedure. It is a shot of medicine put into the skin. You may still feel pressure or pushing during the procedure.
  • A thin needle is inserted near your lumbar spine to the affected nerve root. Your healthcare provider may use an x-ray with dye or a CT scan to help guide the needle. Once he is sure the needle is placed properly, he injects medicine, such as anesthesia and steroids. After the procedure, bandages are placed over the injection sites.

After your procedure:

You may be taken to a recovery room to rest. Healthcare providers will watch you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. When they see that you are okay, you may be allowed to go home. If healthcare providers want you to stay in the hospital, you will be taken back to your hospital room. The bandages used to cover your injection sites keep the area clean and dry to prevent infection. A healthcare provider may remove the bandages soon after your procedure to check your injection sites.

  • Medicines to treat pain, swelling, or fever: These medicines are safe for most people to use. However, they can cause serious problems when used by people with certain medical conditions. Tell healthcare providers if you have liver or kidney disease or a history of bleeding in your stomach.


You may get an infection or have bleeding. Other parts near your spine, such as nerves, blood vessels, ligaments, muscles, and bones, may be damaged. The medicines may spread in areas near the lumbar nerve root and cause numbness in these areas. You may still have leg or lower back pain. Without treatment, the pain and problems you have will continue and may even get worse. You may have trouble going back to your usual activities.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Lumbar Nerve Root Injection (Inpatient Care)

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