Spine & Orthopedic Pain Centers

Medial Branch Block



Injections made directly by the medial branch nerves which supply the facet joint are called medial branch blocks (MBB). Medial branch block and facet joint injections are designed to numb the nerves that supply the facet joint in an effort to alleviate pain or to diagnose the exact location of the pain. Facet injections/MBB’s are only temporary however the diagnosis confirmed by the block can then be followed by a radio frequency ablation. The procedure can be repeated.

Facet joints assist with spinal weight bearing, prevent the sliding of vertebral bones on top of one another, and limit spinal extension and rotation. The nerve supply of the facet joints is the medial branch nerves stemming from the large bundles of nerves coming off the spinal cord and supply each spinal segment. Each facet joint has two nerve supplies called the medial branch nerves from the spinal levels above and below.

 


 

Why is a Medial Branch Block Performed?

Facet arthropathies can occur anywhere in spinal cord, causing low back, neck pain and headaches.  The exact cause of facet arthropathies is unknown, but they have been highly associated with arthritis, age-related degeneration and injury.

Facet arthropathy classically presents with pain in just one side of the neck or lower back, which may radiate to the upper or lower extremities, respectively.  The vertebral column or spine consists of multiple facet joints. Damaged cervical facet joints may refer pain to the head, neck and shoulders. Thoracic facet joints may radiate pain to the upper back, middle back, and chest wall, and lumbar facet joints may refer pain to the back, buttocks, and thighs.

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Inderbir Johal, M.D.

Interventional Pain Medicine Specialist
Anesthesiologist

Dr. Inderbir Johal, M.D. is a highly-skilled interventional pain management physician. Following a rigorous residency program in anesthesiology at Rush University Medical Center, Dr. Johal completed an intensive fellowship at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County.

Dr. Johal is passionate about his patients and their experience at Prestige Pain. Compassionate in his clinical approach, Dr. Johal uses leading-edge, minimally-invasive approaches to address acute and chronic pain effectively.

Dr. Johal welcomes your correspondence.

Gurbir Johal, M.D.

Interventional Pain Medicine Specialist
Anesthesiologist

Dr. Gurbir Johal is a highly-skilled interventional pain management physician. Following a rigorous residency program in anesthesiology at the prestigious University of Chicago Medical Center, Dr. Johal completed an intensive fellowship in pain medicine at the University of Chicago Pain Medicine Center.

Dr. Johal is passionate about his patients and their experience at Prestige Pain. Compassionate in his clinical approach, Dr. Johal uses leading-edge, minimally-invasive approaches to address acute and chronic pain effectively.

Dr. Johal welcomes your correspondence.