What is a Ganglion Impar Block?
The ganglion impar is a group of nerve cells located in the front of the coccyx (tail bone), and is part of the sympathetic nervous system.
A ganglion impar block is a minimally-invasive procedure developed in 1990 that is used to reduce some of the symptoms of chronic pelvic or rectal pain by blocking nerve impulses. Abnormal signaling in the nerves of the ganglion impar due to over activity can result in chronic pain. Typically, this pain is felt in the region of the perineum and may be associated with nerve, organ, or tissue damage. It is often experienced as a vague or widely-distributed burning or discomfort in this area, which is controlled by the ganglion impar.
Ganglion impar blocks inhibit pain associated with the coccyx by injecting the ganglion impar with a local anesthetic.
What Results Can I Expect?
Typically, most patients will report 100% or nearly 100% initial relief of their coccyx pain within just a few minutes of having the injection with a local anesthetic. When the local anesthetic wears off (usually within a few hours), some of the coccyx pain often returns, but usually at a much lower pain intensity than before the injection. This is presumably because the over-activity of the ganglion impar has been reduced
In some patients, a single injection may provide 100% relief that lasts long-term (without ANY coccyx pain returning at all). Most patients are not “cured” long-term by a single injection, and if a patient experiences some benefit from the injection, it may be repeated. Repeating the injections can eliminate or at least substantially reduce the pain in many patients. The degree of relief from these injections is often so significant that patients previously considering surgical removal of the coccyx no longer feel the need to have surgery.