Lumbar Facet Joint Block
A lumbar facet joint block, also called a medial branch block, is an injection of a strong local anesthetic on the medial nerves which supply the facet joints in the low back. Patients who suffer from back pain due to inflamed facet joints could potentially benefit from a lumbar facet joint block. The procedure is considered diagnostic, rather than therapeutic— in other words, your response to the medial branch block will help determine the best pain relief solution for you.
How is a lumbar facet joint block performed?
The doctor will numb your back with medication. Then, guided by an x-ray, he will:
- Insert a thin needle into your back and look at the placement under x-ray
- Inject numbing medication to temporarily block the nerve to the facet joint
Usually, the procedure takes less than 15 minutes and you can go home the same day.