MEDIAL BRANCH BLOCK

MEDIAL BRANCH BLOCK

A medial branch nerve block is a procedure in which an anesthetic is injected near small medial nerves connected to a specific facet joint. Typically several levels of the spine are injected in one procedure. If the patient experiences marked pain relief immediately after the injection, then the facet joint is determined to be the source of the patient’s pain. The procedure is primarily diagnostic, meaning that if the patient has the appropriate duration of pain relief after the medial branch nerve block, then he or she may be a candidate for a subsequent procedure – called a medial branch radiofrequency neurotomy (or ablation) – for longer term pain relief.

 

  • What is the Medial Branch Block Treatment Like?

    The first step of the medial branch block treatment is applying a local anesthetic to the treatment area. This helps to relieve any discomfort that may occur during the injection process. Once the treatment area is numbed, a needle will be carefully inserted into the medial branch nerves, which are found near any of the facet joints along the spine. After the needle is in place, the injection will be performed. This treatment is typically completed in less than an hour. After treatment, you may notice some minor swelling or bruising at the injection site, but these effects usually fade within a few days.

  • What Kind of Results Can I Expect from a Medial Branch Block?

    After your medial branch block treatment, you will notice immediate pain relief due to the local anesthetic that is injected. This will wear off in a few hours, and pain may return briefly. The steroid medication will take effect within a few days, soothing inflammation and blocking nerve signals so that you can enjoy long-lasting pain relief. The results from your medial branch block can last between several weeks and several months. The exact duration of these results will vary, so we will help you determine the kind of results that you can expect during your initial visit.

Medial branch blocks are an effective solution for back pain that is caused by the facet joints encroaching on the medial branch nerves. To learn more about this procedure or to schedule an appointment with us, contact us today.

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