Medial branch refers to the nerves that carry pain signals from the spine joints. A medial branch block is an injection of chemicals that block this pain signal. It is often used as a diagnostic test used to help confirm the origin of pain...unlike the facet joint injection; the chemical is not injected into the facet joint. At time some steroid may also be added in the chemical to provide a long lasting relief. It is done at both at the lumbar spine (low back) and in the cervical spine (neck).
Medial branch blocks are diagnostic back pain tests used to help verify, or rule out, a facet joint as a source of back pain or neck pain.
· You will lie with your face down.
·An intravenous line will be secured.
·The skin at the site of injections will be cleaned.
·The skin is numbed with medication.
·Under X-ray guidance, the median sensory branches will be approached with fine needles near the spinal joints.
·You may feel some pressure when the needles are inserted but the doctor will speak to you as the procedure is going on and reassuring you all the time.
·The medication is injected around the nerves.
·The whole procedure takes around 30- 60 minutes.
· You will be allowed to walk in the procedure room or in the recover.
·The doctor will speak to you after the injection and assess your pain relief.
·You may be able to go home after a few hours after the procedure.
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