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Facet Joint & Medial Branch Blocks

Facet joints are the joints located between adjacent vertebral bones of the spine. They are paired joints that provide stability to the vertebral column. Wear and tear or mechanical stress may damage the facet joints, resulting in pain and inflammation. Facet joint and medial branch blocks are injections administered to nerves called medial branches that carry pain sensations from the facet joints to the spine and brain. These injections block the pain impulses and help reduce inflammation. They usually contain a mixture of an anesthetic and a steroid.

For the injection procedure, you will lie on your stomach. The site to be injected is sterilized and numbed with local anesthetic. Your doctor then inserts a needle in the region of the facet joint or medial branch under the guidance of live X-ray imaging (fluoroscopy). The anesthetic-steroid mixture is then slowly injected and once the needle is withdrawn the site is covered by a sterile bandage. You may need more than one injection depending on the number of facet joints involved. Pain relief from the anesthetic is usually immediate. The steroids start to take effect (reduce inflammation) in 2-3 days.

You may experience a temporary burning or pressure sensation during the injection, followed by some numbness for a few hours.

Facet joint and medial branch blocks are usually safe procedures but do carry certain risks which include infection, bleeding, nerve damage and allergy to the injected medications.

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Practice Locations

Sugarland / Richmond Office

21155 Southwest Freeway
Richmond, TX 77469

The Woodlands Office

3101 College Park Drive
The Woodlands, TX 77384

West Houston Medical Center

Richmond Ave., Ste. 324 12121
Houston, Texas 77082 MAP

West University/Galleria

Westpark 3391
Houston, Texas 77005 MAP

Memorial Hermann
Memorial City

Professional Building III
Gessner, Ste. 360915
Houston, Texas 77024 MAP

Humble Office

Richmond Ave., Ste. 32412121
Houston, Texas 77082 MAP

Katy Medical Art Center

West Grand Pkwy N, suite 320
1331 Katy, TX. 77493 MAP