Medial Branch Blocks

The area of the spine between your neck and lower back is called the thoracic region. Thoracic facet joints connect the vertebrae to this region on your back. When you feel pain in these joints, medial branch nerves will transmit pain signals from your facet joints to your brain. Sometimes it’s only connecting ligaments surrounding the joint that is injured, but other times the cartilage inside the joint can be injured. Typical pain from thoracic facet joints occurs in your:

  • Upper back

  • Shoulders

  • Hips

If you endure consistent pain in these areas that lasts longer than two months, you may have an injured thoracic facet joint.

This is when thoracic medial branch blocks come to the rescue. A physician will inject a local anesthetic that stops the transmission of pain signals from the facet joint. If your pain subsides, this alerts the physician on which facet joint is affected. Once the affected joint is determined, the thoracic medial branch block will be injected along with local anesthesia for pain relief.

If you choose Unity Spine & Joint​​​​​​​ for thoracic medial branch blocks, you will be monitored for 30 minutes after the injection, and then will be given discharge instructions. We will also give you a pain diary that you can show your physician in a future check-up to see how the injection is working.

​​​​​​​Depending on the amount of inflammation, the pain relief could last short a short, or long period of time. If the pain does not subside quickly, we will begin looking at other options, such as radiofrequency ablation (RFA). Give us a call today, and let’s get you into Unity Spine & Joint​​​​​​​ so we can conquer your pain.

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