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Facet Joint Injections/ Medial Nerve Blocks?

Reformed1RReformed1 Posts: 257
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Spinal Injections
Hi, I can't seem to find the post that I was participating in regarding Facet Joint Injections.

I'm having one this evening and I was told that they only use a local, so I should be able to drive home.

I'm wondering how bad the next day or so will be in terms of residual pain from the procedure.

Any experience?



  • I had a facet block with my last endoscopic LOA. For me, it was no big deal. I did have lots of pain with the LOA, but not specifically from the block.

  • I would rate the Facet Joint Injections barely one notch above a Discogram in terms of discomfort.

    I watched a video on the doctor's website and I was under the impression that I was getting ONE INJECTION in or around the facet joint where I was having pain. The assistant (nurse or PA?) informed me that, well no, I was having a Medial Branch Block at L4, L5, S1, and on both sides. I probably looked like a deer in the headlights. "Oh well", I said, "whatever works". Then the searing hot needle pierced my skin, once, twice, ... Four, Five ... Six, Seven, Eight times? I lost count. What was this hot needle? OMG did that NOT feel good!!

    Once the needle was placed, I always love the sensation when they pass through the spinal canal wall (or whatever that was). I wouldn't call that pain, but it is a sensation that freaks me out. Sort of like someone is actually touching raw nerves in my spine with their fingers. Words can't describe it.

    I went into this telling myself that I won't count on improvement -- I will just hope that this gives me relief. The nurse told me that it takes about two weeks to take effect. Another misconception on my part. I thought the relief was supposed to be immediate based upon the video.

    I don't mean to scare anyone away. I'm just sharing yet another "surprise" experience on my part.

    Take Care,
  • I just learned that it was a Medial Nerve Block, not a Facet Joint injection.

    I'm so confused. I read online about how the procedure is supposed to help pinpoint the problem, but if they did 4 levels and on both sides, how does that help determined anything? If it relieves the pain, then they will have to try it again in a few months, but reduce how many levels they do and/or only do one side. I'm guessing. I'm not guessing that the doctor got paid by the injection...

    Overall, I'm still happy with this practice and I'm sticking with them through thick or thin!
  • Wow what an ordeal! I don't think I've had those yet but seems it blocks the nerve signal going to the facet joints. I will ask my PM Dr. about these when I go in a few days. Hope they help with your pain. I know with facet joint injections it helped my flexibility more. Take care. Charry
    Thought this was a good article here:
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Yes, Spine Health has some very good articles and videos. The Medial Branch Nerve Block is intended to suppress any pain signals that might be related to the nerves that go to the Facet Joints.

    I guess I was just surprised by how many injections I received when my doctor knew that my pain was very focused around the L5 nerve root. So, I can see why they might want to do the level above and the level below on the right side where I have pain, but the more I try to recall what was going on, I think he did injections from S1 all the way up to L3 or L2 and then did the entire left side.

    I had no sedation for the procedure which I've read on other sights is normal for them to provide. That searing hot needle was the thing that bothered me the most.

    I just feel like I could have been better advised as to what was being done (i.e. NOT one injection, but a dozen or so) and that they were aiming at long-term relief rather than short-term.

    So, after all of my babyish whining here, 2 days after the procedure I'm feeling pretty good. I can't say that the injections have helped yet, but I'm not sore at all from them. They said that it takes up to 2 weeks for the procedure to really help.

    Thanks again,
  • Argh! I miss a few days and this is what I come back to.. this stuff is totally my forte.. I have been through numerous MMB and RFN and FJI..

    but they all worked, especially the MMB, within less than 5 days, and mine was cervical and Thoracic, and it felt like a horse kicked me in the back for 2-3 days. lol but then it was heavenly!
    I had 3 rounds of all those searing hot needles, w/sedation, then they finally started on the Radio frequency Neurotomy, or Ryzotomy. they had to break up the neck in halves, 2 visits but the thoracic I talked them into doing all at once. after a week of healing, it was crazy how much the pain lightened up, but the spasming was still there, so my muscles were still sore. but that was mild in comparison, at the time..
    So much so that i forgot and acted like i had a good back and now I'm in this situation. not eveyone has such good results, few do I think, but I did.

    I hope you feel better Dave! >:D<

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