Medial branch blocks

What is it:

Medial branch nerves are very small nerve branches that carry the pain message from the facet joints and the muscles around the joints. If the nerves are blocked or numbed, they will not be able to transfer the pain sensation from the joints to the brain.

Purpose:

If the nerves are �blocked� or �numbed�, they will not be able to carry pain sensation to the spinal cord. It is like temporarily cutting off �wires�. Therefore, if the pain is due to facet joint arthritis, you should have relief from pain and stiffness. Once it is determined that the pain is indeed due to facet joint disease, we can use a procedure called �Radio-Frequency Lesioning� and prevent the conduction of pain information for several weeks to months. So, in a way, medial branch block is a temporary and diagnostic procedure.

How is it Done:

It is done either with the patient lying on the stomach for the upper and low back pain, or for the cervical (neck area) injections � in sitting position or lying on the back, under x-ray control. The patients are monitored with EKG, blood pressure cuff and blood oxygen-monitoring device. The skin in the back is cleaned with antiseptic solution and then the injection is carried out.
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