Facet Joints/ Medial Branch Nerve Block
The top needle shows radio-frequency ablation (RFA) of the facet joint nerve while the bottom two needles shows neural blockade of facet joint nerve or median branches .
Your doctor may recommend this procedure if you have pain associated with the arthropathy of the spine joints called facet joints. Facet joints are similar to other joints in the body and are subject to wear and tear ,especially when the disc is degenerated.
For patients who cant have steroids for strict medical reasons , a procedure called medial branch or facet joint nerve block is recommended.
If the back pain is mostly due to the arthritis you may expect strong relief of pain that lasts for a few hours .For those who experience about 80 % or higher relief for a few hours , a procedure called radio frequency ablation (RFA) would provide longer duration pain relief lasting for many months .Facet joint nerve blocks may be repeated like epidural injections periodically to break the pain cycle or improve the percentage of pain relief with existing medical regimen.
In addition these injections are very helpful in treating symptoms of chronic whiplash associated disorders (WAD) and headache syndromes.