FAQ’s on Ganglion Impar Block for Chronic Pelvic and Coccyx Pain
Ganglion Impar Block
The ganglion impar of the body is a nerve cluster located near the coccyx that governs over the surrounding abdominal areas and the buttocks. The ganglion impar block seeks to provide pain relief by utilizing local anesthetic and a corticosteroid to block pain impulses from the ganglion impar nerve cluster.
Who is Treated with these Blocks?
Those who suffer from all types of pain in the perineal area can obtain significant relief from a ganglion impar block including pain coming from the:
The ganglion impar is right in front of where the sacrum meets the coccyx
Distal third of the vagina
Cancer that metastasized to perineum (cervical, prostate, testicular, colorectal etc.)
Sacral postherpetic neuralgia
Failed back surgery syndrome
What can be gained by a patient when they receive Ganglion Impar Block injections?
Chronic pain is often debilitating for patients, with many of those suffering from chronic pain having a reduced quality of life. By receiving the ganglion impar block injection, the patient may be able to obtain relief from this chronic pain, returning them to a normal pain-free lifestyle.
How is the Ganglion Impar Block procedure performed?
The procedure is performed by first placing the patient in the prone position (face down) on the table. This exposes the lower back, allowing the physician access to the impar. The area to be injected is then cleaned, followed by the application of a local anesthetic to numb the skin.
Then, with the aid of a fluoroscopic imaging (a technique using repeated X-rays to create a real time image of where the needle is), the physician will guide the needle to the correct location. Dye will be injected to verify that the correct location is being treated. The physician will then inject a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid into the location. After the injection, the patient will be monitored to ensure that there are no negative reactions.
How long do the effects of the Ganglion Impar Block injections last?
The local anesthetic usually provides immediate relief from pain but this is temporary. The steroid may take two to three days to take effect, then at this point, the patient will begin to feel relief again that can last anywhere from a week to several weeks.
What risk or side effects are possible with the Ganglion Impar Block injections?
There is always the possibility of side effects but generally a ganglion impar block injection is considered to be a safe procedure. If a patient does experience side effects, they could include bleeding, numbness or weakness in the legs, increased pain, inflammation, loss of control of the bladder or bowels, tenderness or bruising at the injection site, or possibly infection.
What conditions are treatable with Ganglion Impar Block injections?
Ganglion impar block injections are primarily used to treat patients that are suffering from either symptomatic or chronic pain of the pelvic and rectal region.
How successful are Ganglion Impar Block injections for the relief of pain?
There are three possible results that occur after a ganglion impar block is performed.
The first possible result is that the block is not successful in the treatment of pain and the symptoms exhibited by the patient do not change. While this is unfortunate, it has a purpose.
If the block fails to provide pain relief, then it has served as a diagnostic tool that has ruled out one possible treatment solution. This is very beneficial to the patient as it provides more information about the present condition, allowing the physician to devise a more probable pain solution.
Ganglion Impar Block being done with a curved needle.
The second possible result is that the symptoms cease for a few hours before suddenly returning to the patient. For many patients, this is a diagnostic block that shows that the ganglion impar is, in fact, a partial cause of the symptoms. What normally occurs with this is that numbing the nerves was effective, but the steroid used failed to provide extended relief.
The third possible result is that the symptoms cease briefly, return as less of a factor, and then slowly fade away over the next few days. These are the signs of a successful block, showcasing that both the numbing agent and the steroid used have had their intended effect.
If you or a loved one would like to receive pain relief from your perineal pain, call Texas Pain Network for relief. The practice has several Board Certified pain management doctors in San Antonio accepting over 50 insurance plans at multiple locations.
Call (210) 202-4030 for more information and scheduling!