Diagnostic medical branch block

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Diagnostic, treatment

This procedure helps Dr. Gilthorpe determine whether your pain is generating from your facet joints, which can predict future treatment. It's like a map that guides Dr. Gilthorpe toward the source of your ailment. 

How it's done.

A local anesthetic is injected into the medial branch nerves surrounding the facet joints. In most cases, several levels are injected at one time. Unlike facet blocks, a medial branch block injection is placed outside the joint, near the medial nerve. 

 

While medial branch block procedures can offer dramatic pain relief, they're mostly used as diagnostic tools. So, for example, if our pain does not dissipate, Dr. Gilthorpe can rule out one or many potential pain sources. 

If your pain dissipates but quickly returns many hours after the procedure, it's possible your back pain is coming from a facet-joint issue, and Dr. Gilthorpe can perform a radiofrequency ablation to provide longer-lasting relief.