Medial Branch Blocks Performed by Award Winning Doctors in Scottsdale, Gilbert, Glendale, and Chandler, Arizona
The medial branch block (MBB) is an effective and direct way of treating pain originating from the facet joint of the spine.
Research indicates this may account for up to 45% of back and neck pain reported by patients.
The facet joint is a connection joining an individual bone of the spine (i.e. one vertebra) to another. They are important in controlling spinal movement and integrity of the spine.
Facet joints can be a source of back or neck pain, however, mainly as a result of injury or trauma. Arthritis, in which the joints or the protective synovial fluid around them wears down, can also occur in facet joints.
How is a Medial Branch Block Performed?
Direct injections are an effective method for treating pain in facet joints. These deliver long-lasting steroids, such as dexamethasome. In some cases a local anesthetic such as lidocaine, bupivacaine, or mepivacaine will also be injected. The joints themselves can be injected. This results in long-lasting relief from the associated pain.
The medial branch block (MBB) is an even more specific method of controlling this, as it involves targeting the nerves that provide sensory signals to the facet joint (i.e. the medial branch) itself.
Conditions Related to a Medial Branch Block
Facet joint disease or damage is implicated in neck, upper back, and lower back pain, originating from joints in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar vertebrae respectively. They can be injected separately to treat the pain in each relevant condition.
Cervical medial branch blocks have a low incidence of side-effects and provide moderate short-term relief from neck pain. Thoracic medial branch blocks can control upper- and mid-back pain. They have been reported to restore at least 50% normal functions in over 80% of patients, over a period of two years.