Facet Joint Blocks / Medial Branch Blocks

Rediscover Comfort Through Precision

Discover an effective approach to pain relief and diagnosis with Facet Joint Blocks and Medial Branch Blocks, offered at the National Interventional Pain Associates of America (NIPAA).

Understanding the Facet Joint

The facet joint, located between each set of vertebrae in the spine, plays a critical role in enabling movement and providing stability. It’s responsible for allowing our spine to bend, twist, and flex. However, due to various reasons such as injury, wear and tear, or inflammation, the facet joints can become a source of pain.

About the Procedure

Facet Joint Blocks and Medial Branch Blocks are both diagnostic and therapeutic procedures that help identify the source of pain and provide relief. Facet Joint Blocks are tailored according to the spine’s region, ensuring the utmost specificity:

  • Cervical: These blocks address neck pain, often arising from the facet joints in the cervical spine region.
  • Thoracic: For pain in the mid-spine or upper back area, these blocks target the thoracic spine’s facet joints.
  • Lumbar: Targeting lower back pain, these injections focus on the facet joints in the lumbar region of the spine.

How will the procedure(s) be performed?

The procedure involves injecting a small amount of local anesthetic (and sometimes a steroid) into the facet joint or around the medial branch nerves that supply the joint. The process is performed under the guidance of GE Fluoroscopy equipment to ensure precision.

What happens during the actual procedure?

  1. You will lie on a procedure table, and the target area will be cleaned and sterilized.
  2. A local anesthetic will be applied to numb the injection site.
  3. Using state-of-the-art fluoroscopic equipment for guidance, the physician will carefully insert a needle into or around the facet joint.
  4. Once the needle is correctly positioned, the anesthetic and, if applicable, the steroid medication will be injected.
  5. After the injection, the needle is removed, and the injection site is covered with a small bandage.

Will the injection hurt?

While the procedure involves a needle, every effort is made to ensure your comfort. The application of a local anesthetic before the injection minimizes discomfort. Some patients might feel a slight sting or pressure, but it is generally well-tolerated.

How will I feel after the injection?

Immediately after the procedure, the area might feel numb due to the local anesthetic. As it wears off, there might be some soreness at the injection site, which usually diminishes within a day or two. Many patients experience significant relief from their pain after the procedure. However, individual responses can vary.

How to prepare for the procedure?

  1. Inform your physician about any medications you are taking.
  2. Depending on your medication, you might be asked to stop certain medications a few days before the procedure.
  3. Avoid eating or drinking for at least six hours prior to the procedure.
  4. Wear loose, comfortable clothing.
  5. Ensure you have someone to drive you home after the procedure.

Experience a New Path to Relief

Facet Joint Blocks and Medial Branch Blocks, with their dual diagnostic and therapeutic benefits, provide a comprehensive approach to spinal pain. At NIPAA, we’re here to guide you every step of the way.