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Lumbar Medial Branch Blocks/Facet Joint Injections

What are Lumbar Medial Branch Blocks/Facet Injections?

Lumbar Medial Branch Blocks and Facet Injections are diagnostic and therapeutic procedures that target specific nerves responsible for transmitting pain signals from the facet joints in the lumbar spine (lower back). The facet joints are small joints located between the vertebrae, and they play a crucial role in providing stability and facilitating smooth movement of the spine.

What can Lumbar Medial Branch Blocks/Facet Injections treat?

These injections are primarily used to diagnose and treat pain originating from the facet joints in the lower back. Conditions that may benefit from Lumbar Medial Branch Blocks/Facet Injections include:

Facet Joint Arthritis: Inflammation and arthritis in the facet joints can be a significant source of chronic pain.

Spondylosis: Also known as spinal osteoarthritis, this condition can cause pain and stiffness in the lower back due to facet joint involvement.

How are Lumbar Medial Branch Blocks/Facet Injections administered?

The procedure is relatively straightforward and is typically performed on an outpatient basis. Here’s what you can expect during the process:

Preparation: You will lie face down on an exam table, and the area to be treated will be cleansed and numbed.

Anesthesia: The procedure can be performed under local anesthesia or with moderate sedation

Injection: Using fluoroscopic guidance (real-time X-ray), Dr. Edward Rubin will carefully insert a thin needle near the targeted medial branch nerve or facet joint.

Medication: A mixture of a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid (anti-inflammatory) medication will be injected into the affected area to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.

Recovery: After the procedure, you will be monitored for a short time before being discharged.

What are the risks of Lumbar Medial Branch Blocks/Facet Injections?

While Lumbar Medial Branch Blocks/Facet Injections are considered safe and complications are rare, there are some potential risks associated with the procedure, including:

Infection: As with any injection, there is a slight risk of infection at the injection site.

Allergic Reaction: Although rare, some patients may have an allergic reaction to the medications used during the procedure.

Nerve Damage: In very rare cases, there is a small risk of nerve injury during the injection.

Bleeding or Bruising: Some patients may experience minor bleeding or bruising at the injection site.

If you are experiencing persistent lower back pain and believe Lumbar Medial Branch Blocks/Facet Injections may be a suitable treatment option for you, don’t hesitate to take the next step. Dr. Edward Rubin and his team are here to provide expert guidance and personalized care to help you find relief and improve your quality of life. Schedule an appointment today by calling or filling out the appointment request form on our website.