Facet Injection/Medial Branch Block
What is a Facet Injection/Medial Branch block?
- The facet joints are the joints in your spine that allow mobility such as bending & twisting. These joints may be the source of pain due to trauma, inflammation, degeneration, as well as other causes.
- The cervical facet joints may be the source of pain in the neck, head, shoulders, and shoulder blades.
- The lumbar facet joints may be the source of pain in the lower back, buttock, hip or groin.
- A medial branch block is a diagnostic injection to verify the facet joints as the source of pain. A needle is inserted through the skin toward the joint capsule via a ‘live’ X-ray machine called a fluoroscopy. The medial branch is the nerve to the facet joint. Medication is injected to ‘anesthetize’ the medial branch. A successful block with good pain relief is usually followed by a Rhizotomy or Radifrquency Ablation.
- A Rhizotomy or Radifrquency Ablation is done in the same manner as a medial branch block. Instead of just anesthetizing the nerve, a probe with heat up will stop the medial branch from sending pain. The procedure is designed to last longer than the medial branch block.
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