What is a Medial Branch Nerve Block?
A Medial Branch Nerve Block is a type of injection used to determine if the facet joint is causing the patient's back pain. Facet joints are pairs of small joints between the vertebrae in the back of the spine. Each facet joint contains small nerves, called medial branch nerves, that carry pain signals from the facet joints to the brain.
How does it work?
The procedure begins with the patient lying face down on a table and the physician injects a local anesthetic. Then, using fluoroscopy (X-Ray guidance), an anesthetic is slowly injected into each targeted nerve. If the patient experiences significant pain relief immediately after the injection, then the facet joint is determined to be the source of the patient's pain and the patient may be a candidate for a follow-up procedure, called a medial branch radiofrequency neurotomy.