The pudendal nerve allows people to feel sensations in the male or female genitalia, anus, and surrounding areas. It also assists with the emptying of the bladder and bowels. If damaged, this nerve can cause a condition known as pudendal neuralgia and leave patients with symptoms of numbness, burning, pinching, problems with sexual intercourse, and pain when urinating and defecating. The physicians at Orthopedic and Wellness offer a minimally invasive treatment for pudendal neuralgia known as a pudendal nerve block.
When the patient arrives, he or she is asked to change into a surgical gown. Patients are then positioned face down so their back is exposed. An anesthesiologist then injects a local anesthetic into skin and tissues around the surgical site. This way, patients do not feel any pain during the procedure. Occasionally, patients will report slight pressure near the affected area. The buttocks and lower back area are sterilized with an antiseptic solution before an X-ray device is positioned over the patient. The physician uses the real-time X-ray to guide the needle safely into the correct position. The pain management specialist then injects a mixture of a corticosteroid and anesthetic solution directly into the area. This solution won’t go directly into the nerve, but it will be injected near the pudendal nerve. When the procedure comes to an end, a bandage is placed over the injection site and patients are monitored in a recovery room.
Because of the anesthesia, an Orthopedic and Wellness physician may require a caretaker to take the patient home. Patients often report immediate pain relief, but this is largely due to the local anesthetic. Once it wears off, patients can expect mild discomfort for the first couple of days. Patients are advised to take about 24 hours to recover at home. After the allotted time, a physician may allow patients to return to work the next day. The patient should start to feel pain relief in about three days to a week. The corticosteroid works as an anti-inflammatory to relieve pressure off the nerve. The procedure is considered very safe and should not produce any unwanted side effects other than temporary injection site pain. Should any complications arise, please call Orthopedic and Wellness immediately. Patients may be asked to return for follow-up appointments to monitor the progress of their pain relief. If necessary, the procedure can be repeated if advised by a physician.