Intercostal Nerve Block/Ablation is a procedure used to treat the pain caused in the chest and upper abdomen areas. It is also used to treat conditions with the intercostal nerve block including neuropathic pain in the chest associated with herpes zoster or shingles, chronic pain after mastectomy, rib fracture pain, and somatic pain secondary to metastatic cancer to the ribs.
It is a block of nerves that lie underneath the lower edge of each rib. The intercostal nerve is found between the ribs along the thoracic region. Steroids or other medications help cut the transmission of pain signals and reduce the inflammation of these nerves. Once the role of the intercostal nerve is identified, a permanent ablation is performed to provide long-term relief from the pain.