During the minimally invasive AccuCision ® Spine procedure, the patient lays face down with a cushion placed under the stomach area to arch the back. The doctor uses a special x-ray device to locate the sacral hiatus, which is the small opening at the base of the sacrum. The doctor numbs the area with a local anesthetic, then gently guides a needle through the anesthetized tissue and into the epidural space. Once in place, the painful area is treated with an injection of mixture of steroid and anesthetic. The needle is then removed and the injection site is covered with a band-aid.
In an SNRB, the nerve is approached at the level where it exits the foramen (the hole between the vertebral bodies). The injection is done both with a steroid (an anti-inflammatory medication) and lidocaine (a numbing agent). Fluoroscopy (live X-ray) is used to ensure the medication is delivered to the correct location. If the patient’s pain goes away after the injection, it can be inferred that the back pain generator is the specific nerve root that has just been injected. Following the injection, the steroid also helps reduce inflammation around the nerve root.
The benefits from the first shot only lasted 2 weeks. The second and third set of injections lasted about 90 days. In November, I was ready to have surgery. My EMG and nerve conduction tests proved that the nerves were "sleeping" before I was. After another MRI, the neurosurgeon said I was a candidate for surgery but I was not able to get the endoscopic type surgery that is less invasive. I would have an incision about 6-8" long. Along with removing the herniation, they would have to increase the size of the hole where the nerve roots were going through.