Medial branch block is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed to stop the pain signals received by the facet joint from the medial branch nerves. It uses an anesthetic agent and steroid to interrupt the sensory nerve supply to the facet joint. This procedure provides long-term back pain relief. Medial branch block is also used to accurately pinpoint the facet joints that are causing the pain. Facet joints between each vertebra are responsible for making our spine stable and flexible. When one or more of facet joints are inflamed or irritated, it is referred to as facet syndrome.
How is Medial Branch Block performed?
A local skin aesthetic is applied first. The physician will use fluoroscopy or x-ray to help him determine the location of the inflamed joint. He will then place the needle along the nerves of the inflamed joint and inject the steroid or anesthetic agent.
Since it is a minimally invasive spine procedure, Medial branch block is done on an outpatient basis with a total of 30 minutes procedure time. The patient can instantly feel relief several minutes after the procedure is performed. The procedure is followed by 30 minutes of observation.
The effect of medial branch block may range from three to six months. For many patients, however, one or two injections are required to fully enjoy any benefits. This is a very safe procedure that has already produced a lot of excellent outcomes. The physical will ask the patient to record the pain level during the first days of the procedure to make sure that they have identified the right facet joint.
If you’re suffering from back pain that is hindering you from your usual activities, you don’t have to live with it. Don’t hesitate to contact Spine Center of Texas and let us help you get your life back.