In Search of the Best Pain Clinic in LA: Selective Nerve Root Blocks

By | July 6, 2012

Like in darts, precision is required when placing a tiny amount of highly concentrated local anesthetic directly next to an exiting spinal root.


 The best pain clinic in Los Angeles would recognize that the selective nerve root block (SNRB) is one of the most important blocks that they do and becoming more so with each passing year. The reasons for this are numerous. Firstly, modern MRI machines and CAT Scanners have become so sensitive that false positives have become much more of a problem than false negatives. The best pain clinics in LA as well as the best spine surgeons in LA would know that only a small fraction of the abnormalities seen on these scans are actually causing a problem. Combine this with increased awareness of the advantages to the patient of smaller, less invasive and more highly targeted procedures and it becomes clear why the importance of these blocks is increasing even while the availability of high quality diagnostic work diminishes. As their name implies, selective nerve root blocks involve anesthetizing a single spinal nerve root, while leaving all adjacent roots and structures unaffected. This requires the precise placement of a tiny amount (at most one to two milliliters in the lumbar region, less in other areas) of highly concentrated local anesthetic directly next to an exiting spinal root. When properly done, these blocks can allow a skilled surgeon to confidently attack a single affected nerve root through a minimally invasive approach rather than having to explore adjacent segments through a larger incision. The advantages to the patient of this approach in terms of faster recovery and fewer complications are significant. I am proud to say that we at Schlesinger Pain Centers are seeing an increase in referrals from our surgeons and an increased confidence that we can accurately answer the important questions they ask. I have always felt that there is no higher honor, than the trust of one’s colleagues in matters such as this.

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