Medial Branch Block

This diagnostic procedure is performed to determine if a specific facet joint is the source of the patient’s pain. During the procedure, an injection was used to block the nerve serving the painful facet joints. Patient’s lies either on their side or stomach on a table equipped with a special x-ray (fluoroscopy) unit, and an intravenous line started to administer medication that relaxes the patient. A local anesthetic numbs the skin and all the tissues down to the medial branch. The physician’s slides a needle through the anesthetized track. Fluoroscopy guidance will be used to confirm the correct location of the needle tip. Next, anesthetic medicine is injected around the nerve to block pain signals from reaching the brain. If there is no significant relief, another level may be treated to see if that there is the source of the pain. If the pain improved soon after the procedure, an ejection providing more long term relief or radiofrequency lesioning could be performed at that level.