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Median Branch Nerve Blocks

What is it?

This procedure is performed to target the nerves that provide sensation for the small joints in the spine. These joints are prone to developing arthritis with advancing age or after injury.

How it is performed

X-ray is used to help guide a needle to the area near the facet joint. Once the needle is in the right place, an appropriate amount of anesthetic and steroid is injected into the joint. Sedation can be given for our patient’s comfort.

What patients are candidates?

Patients who have neck or lower back pain from arthritis of the facet joints may benefit from this procedure.

How long does the procedure take?

15-20 minutes


Following the injection, the patient may be monitored for 20-30 min before being discharged to go home. Patients are usually asked to continue their normal activities on the day of injection to see if their pain is better after injection, and are asked to keep a pain log. This will help to determine if the facet joint, is, in fact, a source of their spine pain.