Pain Treatments

Medial Branch Blocks/Facet Joint Injections

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Medial branch blocks (MBBs) and facet joint injections are medical treatments that involve injecting a local anesthetic and/or corticosteroid medication into the medial branches or facet joints of the spine. The medial branches are small nerves that supply sensation to the facet joints, which are the small joints in the spine that allow for movement. MBBs and facet joint injections are typically used to treat pain in the neck, upper back, and lower back caused by inflammation of the facet joints.

MBBs and facet joint injections are typically administered in a hospital or outpatient clinic setting and do not require a hospital stay. The procedure takes about 15-30 minutes to complete and is usually done under local anesthesia. During the procedure, the patient lies on their stomach or side, and the skin over the injection site is numbed with a local anesthetic. A needle is inserted into the facet joint or medial branch, and the anesthetic and/or corticosteroid medication is injected.

MBBs and facet joint injections are generally considered safe, but as with any medical treatment, there are potential risks and complications, such as infection and bleeding. Most patients experience relief from pain within a few days to a few weeks after the injection, but the effects of the injection may only last for a few weeks to a few months. MBBs and facet joint injections may be repeated if necessary. It is crucial for patients to discuss the potential benefits and risks of these treatments with their healthcare provider before starting treatment.

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