Several different types of pain syndromes, most frequently Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) types I and II can result from an abnormal or excessive response of the portion of the autonomic nervous system (part of the “fight or flight” response) which supplies the arm and hand. These arise from the stellate ganglion in the neck, just slightly above a patient’s collar bone.
A stellate ganglion block is performed by injecting local anesthetic at the ganglion ( ‘ganglion’ simply refers to a bundle of nervous tissue). It is done with the aid of either ultrasound or X-ray guidance in an ambulatory surgical setting. A patient’s vital signs are typically monitored closely for a period of time afterwards. Discharge home typically occurs within 1-2 hours following the procedure.