A medial branch nerve block is a diagnostic procedure that can help determine the exact source of a patient’s pain. During the procedure, anesthetic is injected into the small medial nerves that connect to particular facet joints in the spine. If a patient experiences a significant reduction in pain immediately after the procedure, they may be a viable candidate for a medial branch radiofrequency neurotomy which provides longer-term pain relief.
A radiofrequency neurotomy, also known as an ablation, is a procedure which creates a heat lesion on the nerve responsible for transmitting pain signals to the brain. The goal of the process is to interrupt the pain signal without causing a loss of sensation or muscle weakness.