Medial Branch Blocks inject a local anesthetic near the medial branch nerve, which has the effect of stopping the transmission of pain signals from the facet joint. This well-known procedure is an outpatient procedure for the treatment of lower back, buttock, hip, groin, neck pain, and headaches.
In the course of the procedure, the physician will determine which facet joint(s) have been causing your pain. After that, to numb your skin, a local anesthetic may be used.
To ensure the safe and proper position of the needle, the physician uses a special type of x-ray called fluoroscopy. The x-ray allows the physician to verify the correct placement of the needle before injecting the Medial Branch Block.
After determining how long the pain will be relieved, then another procedure may be introduced which is called Radiofrequency Ablation. RFA is a procedure which provides a long-term disruption of pain signals. You may be a candidate for RFA if your pain disappears for a short time (meaning even a day or less) but eventually returns.