Medial Branch Block Facet Injection

Medial Branch Block Facet Injection

Medial branch block facet injection is a diagnostic procedure which is performed to determine if a specific facet joint is the source of a patient’s pain.  During the procedure, an injection is administered to block the nerves serving the painful facet joints.

Procedure

Patients lie either on their side or stomach on a table equipped with a special x-ray (fluproscopic) unit, and an intravenous (IV) line is started to administer medication that relaxes the patient.  A local anesthetic numbs the skin and all the tissue down to the medial branch.  The physician slides a needle through the anesthetized track.  A contrast solution is injected so the physician can use an x-ray (fluoroscope) to see the painful areas and to confirm the correct location of the needle tip.  Next, anesthetic medicine is injected around the nerves to block pain signal from reaching the brain.  If there is no significant relief, another level may be treated to see if that is the source of pain.  If the pain improves soon after the procedure, an injection providing more long-term relief may be performed.

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