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Recovery after Medial Branch Block

Hi all. New to the forum but I’ve read quite a bit of discussions. 

I have questions about my medial branch block. I’m about five hours after the injections and feeling way worse than before. My doctor said it could take 20-30 minutes for the anesthesia to fully take effect, so I gave myself an hour before I got nervous. An hour after injections I got home and couldn’t walk. I limped inside and my fiancé had to basically carry me to the couch. Once sitting I couldn’t move, I had to have my arms prop me up in one exact position, and even if I took a breath it hurt. 

We are now five hours after the injections and my pain is still higher than before I went in but not much. I feel like I didn’t get the dip down in pain I was supposed to get, but the exact opposite and going up to a level of pain I had never felt before. I’m back to normal pain now, except my right side of my body from my armpit to my waist is numb. 

SO I guess I’m asking, is this normal? Or does this mean that this block didn’t work? I have to get one more, and I’m willing to do it if I have even just the slightest chance of relief. I’m just worried if this is normal for other people and if it ended up actually helping after the initial pain. 



  • hi nolitaflat

    welcome to spine-health

    there are no medical professional on this site and it is against forum rules for members to give medical advice.  however they can share their own experiences. please remember though, their conditions may be different to yours.

    the best thing to do is to contact your surgical team.  i had a number on my paperwork to contact.  report all your symptoms and the numbness from your armpit to your waist.

    you did not mention your condition or levels worked on and that can give members further information to work with.

    i have added two links below to help new members with information and these also contain the forum rules.  there is lots of material to research that will give you the power of knowledge.

    welcome to spine health




    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015
    L4-S1 TLIF with decompression June 2017
  • Yikes, sorry I forgot so much! New people problems...

    They said I have facet arthropathy, about T11-L3. The injections I got today feel like they went higher than T11, some felt at closer to the middle/top of my ribcage (not sure which Ts those would be)  but they definitely covered down in the Lower Ls

    I definitely moreso wanted just other people’s experiences. I’m not worried about things enough yet to call them, but I definitely wanted some first hand experiences to look at. I’ll keep searching on the forum for old posts as well!

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