Ganglion Impar Block
What is the ganglion impar?
The ganglion impar is a nerve bundle that lies at the end on the front of the coccyx (tailbone). There are four small sacral ganglia connected by ganglion cords, and below the two sympathetic structures lies the ganglion impar. Blockage of the ganglion impar can treat pain originating from the rectum, anus, perineum, distal urethra, vagina, vulva, scrotum, and coccyx.
What conditions are treated using the ganglion impar block?
The ganglion impar block is used to treat:
- Perineal/rectal/anal malignancy pain
- Vaginal protrusion pain
- Interstitial cystitis
- Chronic prostatitis
- Failed back surgery syndrome
- Postherpetic neuralgia
- Radiation proctitis
- Proctalgia fugax
- Burning or localized perineal pain
- Sympathetically-maintained pain due to complex regional pain syndrome
How does the ganglion impar block work?
The ganglion impar block has the ability to stop pain signal transmission from the nerves to the spinal cord. Signals between the nerves and pain fibers are interrupted, which leads to dramatic pain relief. If the block works, the doctor may choose to perform radiofrequency ablation (RFA). This involves destruction of the affected nerves using radiofrequency energy.