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Getting facet blocks

Hi everyone,

A little history about myself I'm 26 yrs old, I'm active duty millitary, and I injured my neck at work in 2010. Sense then I've had a lamenectomy and discsectomy at the c6/7 level then 2 years later I had a fusion at the same level. Well fast forward to the present I'm still having issues I'm having all sorts of neck pain radiating up the left side of my head behind my ear. Intermetent hand and finger pain on my left side with forearm burning. So now I'm seeing a PM doc who started me on a ESI and after the first one I felt worse for the next week then felt good. Really good actually but it was short lived.. So when I went in for my 2nd shot a month after the first one he said the ESI wasn't what I need that a facet block would be more beneficial. So now I'm waiting for my appointment to see how it will work the only thing I'm worried about is that 2 days after I get them I'm going to sea for about a month and I keep reading about all the side effects. Kinda has me worried. The PM doc is doing the blocks from c4/7. Should I be worried about a flare up or something? My diagnosis from all my MRIs was DDD, stenosis, herniated disc's my newest is at the t1/2 level all kinds of stuff. I still work probaly 60 hours a week. And I'm not really looking to give up working. I guess I'm just looking for real life experiences everyone has had with them. Thanks everyone.
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  • LizLiz Posts: 7,904
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • A nerve block is done to lessen the nerve pain. If it works and blocks the pain , then they might suggest a rhizotomy- which is a burning of the nerves in the facet joints. This can give excellent pain relief for a year . sometimes more.
    The block will cause the nerve pain to disappear for the length of time that the block is in effect. It is diagnostic in nature, which means that if it relieves the pain, then they will suggest the next step described above. If not, it will tell them that the problem ( facet joints ) is not the cause of the pain you are having.
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