Medial Branch Block
A diagnostic block used to confirm when the source of pain suspected tobe from the small joints along both sides of the spinal column called facet joints. A small amount of anesthetic is injected to target a branch of the nerves that perceive pain from the suspected joints. A post procedure exam is performed immediately following the procedure, to evaluate if the patient’s usual pain has decreased. If the patient has a significant reduction in usual pain, it is considered a positive block, confirming facet mediated pain. Because the anesthetic agent is temporary, the benefits are expected to last only several hours, then usual pain will slowly return. This is a diagnostic test to confirm that the facet joints are a significant component of the patient’s usual pain. Treatment, radiofrequency ablation, to cauterize the same nerves will be considered.