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Post Operative Instructions for Medial Branch Nerve Block Facet Joint Injections


Please pay close attention to the following information/instructions: 

  1. You have undergone a medial branch block procedure. This procedure is a diagnostic injection to test whether or not the facet joints along the spine are a source of your pain.
  2. For the next 4-6 hours, your facet joints that were injected should be numb. During this time, please perform a few activities that normally cause your typical pain symptoms. 
  3. Please complete the 24-hour pain diary that you were given so that we can determine whether or not you had relief of your typical pain during the 4-6 hours following the procedure. 
  4. Your medial branch block may need to be repeated twice to confirm results. We will discuss this option with you in detail based on your specific situation. 
  5. In general, if your typical pain is reduced by >50%, then you are a candidate for a radiofrequency ablation. Radiofrequency ablation is a procedure that heats the medial branch nerves that supply the facet joints. By heating the individual nerves to each joint, you have the potential to experience long-term (6 months-2 years) pain relief in these joints. 
  6. Please remember that your medial branch block is only a test, and your regular pain usually returns within 24 hours. 
  7. Although complications from this procedure are extremely rare, if you are having excessive pain, redness at the needle sites, or any other signs of infections, please contact our office. 

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