Intercostal Nerve Blocks | Illinois Pain Institute

Intercostal Nerve Blocks

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Intercostal Nerve Blocks is a procedure that works by temporarily blocking or disrupting painful nerve impulses associated with non-cardiac pain in the chest wall area.


How It’s Performed


A small needle is placed just under the lowest portion of each rib that causes discomfort. Sedation may be offered for patient comfort.


Candidates For This Procedure


Patients who have pain in the rib area due to trauma either via rib fractures, repetitive overhead maneuvers, shingles-pain, coughing or unknown reasons are candidates.


How Long It Takes


10 to 20 minutes depending on how many levels need to be blocked.




Vital signs may be observed for about 20 to 60 minutes. The patient is able to leave when vital signs are stable. You may experience some numbness or soreness at needle insertion sites.




Relief is often very rapid. Patients may require a series of injections for long term relief.


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