Lumbar Facet Block
Lumbar Medial Branch Block
LUMBAR FACET JOINT INJECTIONS are for treatment of low back pain
and stiffness of facet joint arthritis (spinal arthritis) or inflammation of the joints after trauma. This is a simple and safe procedure that is generally performed with local anesthesia. Using either real-time X-ray, or CT Scan, a thin needle will be guided into the arthritic or inflamed facet joint, and a small amount of fluid containing an anesthetic agent and a long acting anti-inflammatory medication similar to cortisone will be precisely placed into the joints. This will quickly decrease pain and stiffness. Symptoms may return over a period of time, and the duration of relief is variable, sometimes lasting many months.
If there is a very high degree of reduction of pain and stiffness, but the duration of relief is not satisfactory, endoscopic facet rhizotomy will be quite effective in providing long lasting relief.
LUMBAR MEDIAL BRANCH BLOCK is a diagnostic procedure that is very
safely and quickly performed with fluoroscopic (X-ray) or CT guidance.
The facet joints of the lumbar spine may be diagnosed as the cause of your
back pain from from findings on MRI, CT, or X-Ray, and your history of pain, and physical examination. To determine if the arthritic joints are actually the
source of your pain, a thin needle is guided with fluoroscopy (real time X-ray)
to a point near the facet joint where the nerve that give it sensation is found, and a solution of an anesthetic and anti-inflammatory medication is injected around the nerve. This serves to temporarily deaden or "block" the nerve, keeping it from sending any painful sensations from the joint to the brain.
If the suspected joints are the reason for your pain, you will experience a
very high degree of temporary relief of low back pain and stiffness.
This diagnostic procedure will pinpoint which involved facet joints are the
source of your pain, and should provide a very high degree of very
temporary relief from days to weeks. When your pain returns a second
set of confirmatory blocks are usually performed. If on two occasions
your usual low back pain is well relieved, you can then proceed to
endoscopic facet rhizotomy for long term relief.