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Medial Branch Nerve Block

I had my first ever Medial Branch Nerve Block yesterday on the Lumbar right side... I've had back problems for about 20 years... I thought I'd been through everything.... but this is the first time that any Dr. has thought about doing this.. Of course I DO NOT want to have the RF Ablation done.. So my question is this... What was supposed to happen after the Block? Was I supposed to get relief? Was I supposed to go numb? I have no idea...

What I do know is that so far I am having pain shooting down my right leg that I haven't had in 2 months because I had a series of Caudal Injections in November... I am also having pain in lower back and in my right knee... All of these are worse then before yesterday...

Can someone please tell me their experience? I would love to know more...


  • Hi, I had a medial branch block done back in November and the reason I had it done was to see if I could have the RFA. If I got any relief from the block than I could have the RFA. If no pain relief at all than no reason to do RFA. Did they give you a form to fill out for hourly pain relief from block. They told me the first 2 hours is most important. If I had pain relief in first 2 hours than I could have the RFA. Is there a reason you dont want to have the RFA. It was no different than having the block as far as pain. It took a little longer but I didn't feel any more pain. Hope this helps you in your decision.

  • Well Kamgram, Nothing happened... at least I got NO relief...what I got was more pain... They didn't give me anything.. no instructions other than to treat it like when I had those Caudal Injections... No pain diary, and no nothing... I was surprised. I thought this would be a time when they really wanted my input.. But I'm getting the impression that what I think doesn't matter at all when it comes to my back. They seem to do what they want and I have no say so... I'm supposed to go back on Feb. 15 to have the left side done... but what's the point? If it didn't work on the right side then I guess no RF.. I didn't want to do the RF anyway, but I was really hoping that this would work... I have a bad habit of following the lead of my Dr.'s... almost blindly. And now, when I have an opinion it doesn't matter to them. They actually made it clear that if I didn't do the Medial Branch I wouldn't get my pain meds... and another girl was there for the same thing and they told her the same thing... she felt like she had no choice either. I have only been seeing this PM Dr. since August, so I'm not as established as others are... but I feel like I'm being treated like a criminal. When I ask about them changing my meds to a LA pain med they just keep putting me off.

    Anyway, thanks for the reply... maybe this will end up working..
  • That is awful to hold your pain meds from you unless you try the block. I dont have a pain management doc per se....I see the pain management in with my neurogurgeon if I need an injection but I see my primary who writes my prescriptions for my pain meds. I guess it works different here in NC because I have never seen a clinic that does both meds and injections. I am blessed that my primary is willing to take care of my medication needs. Well if you have to have another injection I hope this one works for you. Perhaps if you let them know first one didnt they wont do another one. My insurance is really stingy about paying for anything :) Will be thinking about you.

  • They hit both sides L3 - S1. Had good relief for almost 6 hours and now it's a little worse than before. Dr did say that it could take 2 weeks to get the full effect. If I could get the same results from the FR as the first 6 hours sign me up..
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • candijones84ccandijones84 Posts: 3
    edited 07/19/2014 - 4:08 PM
    I just had mine done on Wednesday. I was crying when they finished. No pain relief. They neuro did from l2 to l5/s1 right and left side. I don't know what he's going to do now. I see him on the 28th, so I guess I'll find out then.
    Candi Jones
  • I had an L3-S1 medial branch block done on Monday on both sides. It is now Thursday. I had pain on the right side at the end. I swear I felt needle sticks on the rest of the places (only bee sting sensations felt). The last one done on the right side was the hardest for me as I felt everything. Supposedly I was sedated for the procedure (I swear I was awake). I told them in the recovery room that it was hard to walk cause of the right side and if I had relief anywhere else the pain covered it. It is now three days following the procedure and I still have a big bump on the right side and it still hurts. I think I can say that I have no other pain elsewhere. I wish the shot wouldn't have been felt and wouldn't have raised in a bump, thus causing the pain. It would be so nice to be pain-free at last. I have had increasing pain and constant pain for the last four years. I was originally diagnosed with a gluteus medius muscle injury. Two years ago I found out it wasn't that at all. My chiro pulled an x-ray of my back and found that all my lumbar disks were damaged. If only four years ago they would have done that....Leslie
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