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Old 06-02-2007, 08:24 AM   #1
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ktnap HB User
Facet Joint Injection vs. Medial Branch Block

I've been searching the boards for information on my upcoming Medial Branch Block and while doing so have found something called a Facet Joint Injection... are these two procedures the same things? Anyone who has had these procedures, I would be most appreciative if you can respond with your experiences. Thank you!! Kat

 
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Old 06-02-2007, 09:02 AM   #2
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Re: Facet Joint Injection vs. Medial Branch Block

Had both of these procedures...the facet joint injection puts the steroid into the facet joint. The medial branch block dumps numbing stuff on the nerve. I didn't have great success with the facet injections...helped a little...the branch block was like wow...pain all gone...

Leslie

 
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Old 06-02-2007, 09:04 AM   #3
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Re: Facet Joint Injection vs. Medial Branch Block

so... is the facet joint injection the same as a radiofrequency neurotomy? (what the doc says I would have next if these medial branch blocks are effective in reducing the back pain).

 
Old 06-02-2007, 09:08 AM   #4
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Re: Facet Joint Injection vs. Medial Branch Block

noooo, that is an entirely different thing...I had it done on May 9th...have lots of replies to my posts on that if you have time to read them...still waiting for entire relief...hasn't happened yet... Hope it does for you..

Leslie

 
Old 06-02-2007, 10:44 AM   #5
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Re: Facet Joint Injection vs. Medial Branch Block

Leslie described it perfectly-facet injection is steroids into the joint (I had this done first). Medial branch block is lidocaine (numbing injection-I had this done second). The radio frequency burns the pain nerves (I had this done third-and it has lasted the longest). Usually they will try facet injections first, because if the steroid takes care of your pain, you do not have to proceed further. The branch block is a test for the radio frequency. In my experience, the facet injections do not last long. My doctor said this is because the facet joints are so small that they cannot hold the steroid too long. That is why a lot of people proceed to nerve burning. You might ask your doctor if he is going to try facet injections first or branch block. Take care, Kera

 
Old 07-05-2007, 11:20 AM   #6
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Re: Facet Joint Injection vs. Medial Branch Block

Leslie,
I saw your post and it made me feel more secure. I've had about 4 facet injections over the last eight years. I'm going to get my first medial branch block on July 19th. I don't know when the second one will be, but if I do well, they will schedule the rhizotomy. I've been in pain for 8 eight years and my life was completely taken away from me. I'm 44 now and after tons of trigger point steroid injections, I went to a neurosurgeon for a second opinion. I just had the terrifying discogram three weeks ago. I have two torn discs; L5 and L4 and he believes my joint pain( burning and spasms) is being caused by the torn disc. I can't believe I finally have a true diagnosis after living with this painful mystery all of these years. I originally injured myself on a recumbant bike at my health club. I pushed on the pedals to get up a steep hill and heard CRUNCH, CRUNCH, CRUNCH. The neurosurgeon said that something shifted inside. From that point forward, I was in and out of physical therapy. I had to quit my job because I could not stand on my feet all day. I sold designer women's apparel for 15 years. I was devastated and the pain was chronic. Depression set in after taking vacadin for the pain. I no longer take pain pills. Anyway, that's my story. I can only go out for half a day and I wear my tens unit constantly. Is it dangerous for me to exercise now that I know what's going on. In the past, whenI tryed to walk, my joints would get inflamed. It's almost like there's friction there. Something is rubbing against something else. Will the medial branch block feel the same as the facet joint injection as far as when they inject the lidocaine on the nerves? Thanks for allowing me to vent. You sound very positive and I'm glad you are well. I want to be pain free after this rhizotomy. I may need a fusion down the road. I hope not. I'm so glad I saw your post. Pam

 
Old 07-05-2007, 11:41 AM   #7
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Re: Facet Joint Injection vs. Medial Branch Block

Pam,
Gee , sorry to hear you been run through the mill ! I'm not sure what can be done for your pain surgically but have you ever considered the spinalcord stimulator ? It's kind of like your ten's unit but it is surgically implanted . You get almost the same feeling but it's alot deeper and stronger.

I don't like the idea of steriods dumped into my body . My wifes aunt died from to many steriods injections over her life time. That's why I shy away from them most of the time , trust me I had my share of injection .

Shawley

 
Old 07-06-2007, 03:35 AM   #8
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Re: Facet Joint Injection vs. Medial Branch Block

So sorry about your long term pain...yeah, we understand all of this...most of us have been through the pain and waiting and trying this procedure and that one. The medial branch block is just that,,,,it doesn't really hurt any more or less than the facet joint injection....BUT, it is only a block, it doesn't last for more than several hours...it's to make sure that this is the nerve and level that is hurting you..so that they can do the radiofrequency at the right place.
I am not a patient person lately...but, I have to make myself slow down...I get soooooo aggrivated with the medical system with all of this back stuff...my theory is find it/fix it....well so far I am a failure of that school of thought... Then again, if you are persistent with trying to find out with what is wrong with you...and trying to get it fixed....which I feel is reasonable, who wants to live iin pain/taking meds all the time/with the limitations etc....well, then, your Dr. may accuse you of "focusing on your pain"...(my family Dr. said this to me last week...and I told him, I felt it would be unreasonable to ask me to live with this kind of pain,,,and without meds. )(he doesn't believe you need to take perscription stuff...you can become dependent on it/like, I'd have a life with out them..) Thank goodness, I have a good PM Dr., or I don't know where I'd be. I'll take my meds., with the thought in the back of my mind that I could become dependent...but in the meantime, I have a life to live...and I need to do as much as I can to live that life..with as little pain as possible..if I can't be fixed (as of yet), make me as comfortable as possible. If I am unreasonable...oh well....and yeah, I focus....and continue to try to get some answers..and work towards being as good as I can be.

Leslie

 
Old 07-17-2007, 05:34 PM   #9
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Re: Facet Joint Injection vs. Medial Branch Block

Hi Leslie,

It's Pam. My medial branch block is Thursday the 19th at 8am. I'm not flared up right now, but I alway feel the tightness. The burning is gone right now. Will I be able to notice anything with just stiffness? Do I have to hurt badly in order to know? I've been overdoing it on purpose today and also tomorrow to aggravate it a little. When I received facet joint injections, I had immediate relief. Can you reassure me that I don't have to feel the burning? Thanks . Pam

 
Old 07-17-2007, 06:21 PM   #10
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ms_west HB User
Re: Facet Joint Injection vs. Medial Branch Block

I was told that if there is not pain they can't do the block so I would definitely clean the house (that gets me everytime) or whatever causes your pain to make it hurt.

I pray that things go well for you and that they find the answers that they need on Thursday.

 
Old 05-17-2008, 05:05 AM   #11
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janel48 HB User
Re: Facet Joint Injection vs. Medial Branch Block

I am scheduled to have a medial branch block on June 4th. I'm nervous about the pain involved with the injections, and also any possible side affects or complications. I have been diagnosed with fibro (not sure I believe that diagnosis) and degenerated discs in my neck. The most severe pain I feel is in my neck and upper back. When I move my neck it sounds like sand crunching and it always feels as though I need to stretch the muscles in that area because of the stiffness and pain. So I guess my question is, how much does this hurt? Are there any side affects? Thanks!

 
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