The Role of a Facet Medial Branch Block

A medial branch nerve block is a procedure in which an anesthetic is injected near small nerves that are connected to a specific facet joint. Usually several levels of the spine are injected in one procedure.

If you experience marked pain relief immediately after the injection, then the facet joint is found to be the source of the your pain.

The procedure tends to be primarily diagnostic, meaning that if you have the appropriate duration (1-2 hours) of pain relief after the medial branch nerve block, then you may be a candidate for a subsequent procedure. This procedure is called a medial branch radiofrequency rhizotomy (or ablation), which offers longer term pain relief, for about 6 to 12 months. 

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The Role of a Medial Branch Radiofrequency Neurotomy (Ablation)

In situations where a medial branch nerve block has confirmed that your pain originates from a facet joint, a radiofrequency neurotomy can be considered for longer term pain relief.

A radiofrequency neurotomy is a procedure in which a heat lesion is created on the nerve that transmits the pain signal to the brain. The purpose of a radiofrequency neurotomy is to interrupt the pain signal to the brain, while preserving other functions, such as normal sensations and muscle strength.

Discover whether a Facet Medial Branch Block is best for you at Texas Interventional Pain Care. Call us at 972-952-0290 or use our convenient Request an Appointment form.

The Right Treatment

Interventional pain specialist Arif B. Khan, MD, offers lasting solutions for several pain conditions. He has helped people of all ages in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area of TX. His treatment recommendations always start with conservative interventions such as activity modification, therapeutic exercise or physical therapy.

I'm very pleased with the Medtronic Neurostimulator I received on the advice of Dr Khan. - Bridget.E

Arif B. Khan, MD, is the medical director of Texas Interventional Pain Care, an interventional pain center specializing in the treatment of many painful conditions, and located at 2201 N. Central Express Way, Suite 171, Richardson, TX 75080; 222 South Collins Road Suite 101, Sunnyvale, TX 75182. Phone: 972-952-0290 or fax 972-952-0293.