How do Facet & Medial Branch Injections Work?
Blocking these medial branch nerves temporarily stops the transmission of pain signals from the joints to the brain. An IV may be started, to provide relaxation medication. You will be placed on the X-ray table and positioned in such a way that the physician can best visualize the bony areas where the medial branch nerves pass, using X-ray guidance. The skin is scrubbed with a cleaning solution.
Next, the physician numbs a small area of skin with numbing medicine. This medicine stings for several seconds. After the numbing medicine has been given time to be effective, the physician directs a very small needle, using X-ray guidance near the specific nerve being tested. A small amount of contrast (dye) may be injected to ensure proper needle position. Then, a small mixture of anesthetic medicine and anti-inflammatory steroid is injected. The injection may be repeated at several levels and on both sides of the spine.