• Lateral Femoral Cutaneous Nerve Block

    1. What is a lateral femoral cutaneous nerve block?

    Your body has many nerves that can be injured with trauma from friction, pressure, tearing, chemical or natural toxins, radiation therapy or surgery. Neuralgia is a pain caused by an injured or malfunctioning nerve.

    The lateral femoral cutaneous nerve is a nerve that receives sensation from the top lateral part of your thighs on each side. When it is dysfunctional because of pressure, injury or entrapment, pain can be felt in the lateral thighs. You also may have tenderness in your groin because it is one location through which the nerve travels. Symptoms you may have include tingling, numbness, or painful stinging sensations in the front or outer parts of your thighs. The area that is painful may also be very sensitive to touch.

    A lateral femoral cutaneous nerve block is an injection of local anesthetic and steroid into the area where the nerve travels. Generally, relief may be obtained within two days to two weeks.

    If you get good, lasting benefit from the injection, the block may be repeated. In some cases, one injection is all you will need. Once you get relief, self-care and prevention are encouraged. This may be done by avoiding pressure in your groin area, choosing loose-fitting clothing, or wearing an abdominal binder to support your abdomen. In addition, if you are overweight, you should try to lose weight.

    Please note: This procedure cannot be performed if you have an active infection (and are on antibiotics), flu, fever, extremely high blood pressure, or if you are on blood thinners (e.g., aspirin, Coumadin, Plavix, Pletal). Blood thinners must be stopped five to seven days prior to the procedure. For your safety, please inform us if any of these conditions exists.

    2. What are the risks of the procedure?

    As with most procedures, there is a remote risk of bleeding, infection, nerve injury or allergic reaction to the medications used. There is also a risk of irritating the nerve and making the pain worse, as well as a risk of the procedure failing to relieve your pain.

    3. What happens during the procedure?

    After you check in and sign a consent form, your vital signs will be taken. Then you will be taken to the procedure room. Please wear loose-fitting clothing. You may be asked to change into a hospital gown. Our nursing staff will position you on your back on a narrow table. Your groin area will be cleaned with iodine and sterilely draped. Then, the doctor will numb your skin with a small needle, which will sting. It is very important to hold still and let us know if we are causing you discomfort. Next, local anesthetic and steroid are injected through the needle, and the needle is removed. Your skin will be cleaned and a Band-Aid applied. (The Band-Aid may be removed the next morning.) The procedure will last approximately 10 to 20 minutes.

    4. What happens after the procedure?

    You will walk back to the recovery room, where the nurse will give you discharge instructions. If you have no problems at this time, you may be discharged within 5 to 10 minutes. If you have local tenderness from the needles, ice may help relieve the discomfort. You can also resume taking your normal pain medications.

    5. Will I have any restrictions after the procedure?

    Following your procedure you may not drive for the remainder of the day. An adult must be present to drive you home or to escort you on another form of transportation. This is for your own safety. In addition, do not go swimming or soak in a tub or Jacuzzi on the day of your procedure. Otherwise, you may do whatever you feel up to doing.

    6. For what reasons should I call the Pain Management Center after the injection?

    You should call us immediately at 781-744-5090 if you experience any of the following:

    • Severe groin pain that is not relieved with medication and ice
    • Prolonged, new numbness or weakness of your legs
    • Signs of infection in the area of injection

    Things to Do Before the Procedure

    • Any dietary restrictions will be discussed on the day the procedure is booked.
    • Take all of your medications as scheduled on the day of the procedure, unless directed otherwise.
    • Think of any questions for us and write them down.
    • Make the nurses and doctors aware of any new changes in your medical condition.
    • Before you come in, let us know if you are taking any blood thinners (e.g., aspirin, Coumadin, Plavix, Pletal) or anti-inflammatories.
    • Please remember to arrange for an adult to drive you home.
  • Make an Appointment

    (781) 744-5090