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Medial Branch Block today...

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Old 01-18-2005, 09:59 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Elk Grove, CA
Posts: 98
aestrella411 HB User
Medial Branch Block today...

Before I begin I wanted to give a brief overview of my problem...DDD in L4/L5 and I'm only 20 years old...had the first onset of pain in 2002 springtime and have been dealing with getting better ever since then...

Well today was the day for my medial branch block with PM. This procedure is where they temporarily numb the nerves and that diagnostic tool will tell them if it's facet joint pain and if so they can treat it accordingly. I actually didn't have any expectations when I got in (like last time when I got my ESI I thought it was a lot worse than it actually was) so it all ran pretty smoothly. The entire procedure was rather uncomfortable because it literally felt like they were injecting fire into me ten times! This was a diagnostic injection today. If it works, then they do that procedure where they burn the medial branch nerves away. So, let me vent on the procedure itself...

When I got in there they immediately put me on that table on my tummy that had pillows for my tummy and my head. They had that flouroscopy machine there to help them guide the needle. So I was laying there and was told to pull my pants down just revealing portions of my upper buttox. Then they started to clean my lower back area. As they were doing this they were reiterating what they were going to do to me and how it was suppose to make me feel. So, once everything's cleaned he explains that since I have this pain on both sides of my back that he is going to have to inject both sides with the numbing stuff (I think it was lidocaine). So, then he started the was so painful because you know that stinging feeling you get from the numbing needle before the give you the ESI....well, that's what each of these injections felt like. I'm not gonna lie, it hurt bad. It felt like they were injecting fire into my already painful enough back. Fortunately, each time he would tell me "okay you're gonna feel a poke"..."and here's another one..." I was silent for the whole procedure and every time he told me I was gonna feel a poke my blood pressure would rise significantly. The nurse tried to get me to talk alittle bit because I was so quiet so she would ask me..."c'mon, that can't hurt as much as that tattoo did?" (I have four but the one they could see is directly on my lower back) And I responded that well the needle they used to give me the tat didn't go so deep! I didn't have any trouble with the deepness of the needle it was just that the needle was injecting stuff that was hitting all the surrounding irritated tissues/nerves so naturally that hurt a lot! Ten times this happened..they did five different levels (all in my lumbar spine) so five on each side for a total of ten. My back is SO sore right now and the pain has unfortunately returned...however....

I had about 5 hours of no pain! I've never felt so good not in three years! IT was amazing. This should be a wonderful thing for me. I think, from what I remember, if you have like 2-6 hours relief then you are a candidate to do that nerve radiofrequency thing where they burn the nerves off. So...hopefully the doctors will give that to me. I must admit I was a little doubtful at first because I thought they were just doing anything to mask the problem. While I'm still doubtful in that regard, I'm sure grateful that I can have no pain for a little bit even if I am still being injured at least for now I can't feel it and therefore can resume normal life and even begin to exercise to build up all my stomach/back muscles so they can support my spine better when/if I do get that pain again....I know it isn't the best thing to mask the pain but maybe I can do something along with the doctors to help fix me...

Right now my back is killing me! I thought it was bad when I had the one ESI but no...this muscle pain is a lot worse. I have my normal pain behind the muscle pain (if that makes any sense) but the muscle pain is actually more uncomfortable because I'm not use to it.

The doctor did tell me one thing though...which was very good for me...he said that this procedure I had done today (and the one that they will do since this one worked) is that it is mostly for back pain and not really for leg pain. I've always had leg pain/numbness however it was no where close to my back pain. Nowhere close! So....I was very happy that I didn't feel any pain whatsoever. I am still stunned about it because I can't remember when I had any kind of period of time pain free....

I guess I just wanted to vent on how my appointment went today. I am happy that it went well and look forward to not feeling the pain anymore. I think it's a temporary fix (because I have a herniated disk) and while it doesn't fix it it at least buys me some time that I can do something to avoid surgery...exercising more and stuff like that. I dunno...any thoughts would be great...has anyone gone through this with the same results? How about not the same results? I'm interested to read everything anyone has to offer!


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Old 01-19-2005, 09:50 AM   #2
injured betty
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,137
injured betty HB User
Re: Medial Branch Block today...

Anita, That is great news, I am so happy for you!!!!!

I think that all of us would give anything to be painfree for even five minutes. I know that I would.

Let us know how it works out.

Next time, if they ever do it again, ask for Versad before the procedure. Most docs are pretty good about on the spot pain meds. They know that they are not being abused, as you are right there.

Old 01-19-2005, 10:20 AM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Elk Grove, CA
Posts: 98
aestrella411 HB User
Re: Medial Branch Block today...

I appreciate your response. Thank you! I will keep that Versad in mind...

Old 01-19-2005, 11:25 AM   #4
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 593
Jessie1 HB User
Re: Medial Branch Block today...

Anita, I'm so glad it went well! Hopefully your docs will be able to find a more long-term solution to your pain. Keep us posted!


Old 01-19-2005, 11:56 AM   #5
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Elk Grove, CA
Posts: 98
aestrella411 HB User
Re: Medial Branch Block today...

Will do.

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