No medical measure is free from risks!
Some factors, such as the type and severity of the illness, concomitant illnesses and other possible influences, also have an influence on the risk of side effects. Despite the greatest care, undesirable side effects or complications can occur, which in extremely rare exceptional cases can also be life-threatening.
General side effects and risk of complications
- The occurrence of the optimal effect can take 3-4 days. On the day after the injection, the blood circulation can be reddened in the cheeks on the face or in the cleavage. These symptoms are harmless and can be explained by the increased blood flow. They usually disappeared the next day. Temporary increases in blood pressure or blood sugar levels (for 2-3 days) are also possible.
- In the area of the puncture site, there may be bruises or abnormal sensations due to damage to the skin nerves. They are usually harmless and go away on their own after a while. If necessary, they can also be treated well.
- The germs naturally occurring in the skin can cause inflammations or infections in the area of the puncture sites, which can usually be easily controlled with medication. In extremely rare cases, germs can get into the bloodstream and lead to a general infection of the body (sepsis) or inflammatory changes in the organs. Intensive medical treatment may then be necessary under certain circumstances.
- Skin and soft tissue damage (nerve and blood vessel irritation, injection abscess, tissue death), which is usually easy to treat. They usually go away after a while, even without treatment. If the outcome is unfavorable, however, permanent symptoms (scars, painful sensory disturbances or even numbness) can rarely result.
- Very rarely nausea or vomiting or allergic reactions can be triggered by the medication used. The rare mild allergic reactions include, for example, nausea, itching or a rash. They usually subside if left untreated or can be treated well with simple drug therapy. Severe allergic reactions can occur extremely rarely. These include swelling of the mucous membrane in the larynx, breathing disorders with cramps, shock reactions with cardiac and circulatory failure, which can leave permanent organ damage in the event of a very unfavorable course.
- Thrombosis or embolism (blood clots or vascular occlusion) can occur very rarely. This can lead to a pulmonary embolism or a stroke. Here, too, permanent organ damage may remain in the worst case scenario.
- Despite the treatment that has been carried out, pain can remain or reappear after a while, so that further measures such as an operation may still be necessary. Specific side effects and serious risk of complications
- Rarely a temporary drop in blood pressure and poor circulation. These can usually be treated with medication without any problems.
- Occasionally headache, dizziness, impaired hearing and vision, nausea. These can occur especially after peridural infiltration (PDI). As a rule, these symptoms subside after a few days, even without treatment. If necessary, the symptoms can be alleviated with medication.
- Severe back pain can rarely occur after PDI. These can last for several days (DNS syndrome). As a rule, these can be treated well with medication.
- In addition to the consequences of infiltration mentioned above, the following structures can also be affected:
- Infection of the nerve roots with the result of temporary or, rarely, permanent disorders of the affected nerves (painful discomfort, movement disorders).
- Infection that spreads in the nerve water (bacterial meningitis = meningitis), with an unfavorable course in very rare cases with permanent brain damage.
- When treating the lower cervical spine and treating the thoracic spine, the pain reliever injection can injure the pleura. As a result, in extremely rare cases, air can penetrate the chest cavity (pneumothorax) and damage the lung function temporarily or, in extremely rare cases, permanently. Chest drainage may be required for treatment.
- Inadvertent injury to the spinal cord is extremely rare (this ends at the level of the 1st lumbar vertebra, treatment on the lumbar spine is usually far below), which can lead to permanent dysfunction of the affected nerves. In extreme cases, this can lead to paraplegia, which is usually temporary.
What do you have to pay attention to?
Before pain treatment:
- Anticoagulant drugs such as marcumar. Plavix and others may need to be discontinued well in advance of treatment (especially if PDI is planned). Please be sure to inform us about the medication you are taking.
After pain treatment:
- As a rule, no special precautionary measures need to be observed. Only after peridural infiltration treatment (PDI) is it recommended to rest for about 3 days. Greater physical exertion should be avoided here. Bathing (especially in public baths) and sauna should no longer take place on the day of treatment.
- Especially after the PDI, you should not actively participate in road traffic or drive a motor vehicle for the next 10 hours. Working with dangerous machines or climbing ladders and scaffolding should also be avoided. The pain reliever medication (local anesthetics) can lead to a temporary impairment of the function of the limbs, sometimes not noticeable.
- Please inform us immediately if symptoms such as severe back pain, headache, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, urinary problems, faecal incontinence, breathing difficulties, cardiovascular disorders or unusual clouding of consciousness, cramps or pronounced numbness occur after the treatment. If we cannot be reached (for example outside of office hours, on weekends, etc.), report to an outpatient clinic in the surrounding hospitals (for example, Seefeld Hospital, Großhadern Clinic, Rechts der Isar Clinic, etc.). It is best to present this information sheet there. It will be returned to you after it has been electronically recorded in our practice (scanning).
- If we have given you recommendations for taking medication, especially anti-coagulants, please strictly adhere to these recommendations.
If you are still unclear about individual points or if you have any further questions, you can ask us at any time before the procedure.
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