Procedure & Treatment Library

Medial Branch Block

What is a Medial Branch Block?

Prior to the Procedure

What Will Happen?

  1. You will be admitted to the day surgery by a nurse and you will be asked to change into a gown.
  2. The anaesthetist will speak with you and place a cannula (plastic needle) into a vein in your hand.
  3. In the procedure room, you will be assisted into position on the procedure table. You will either be lying on your abdomen with a pillow under your hips and abdomen, or for cervical procedures, you will be on your back with a special pillow under your head.
  4. The anaesthetist will give you some sedation into your vein.
  5. An X-ray machine will be used to determine where the doctor will place the needle for your procedure. This will be marked with a pen.
  6. Local anaesthetic +/- corticosteroid will be injected onto the nerves (medial branches) that supply the facet joint once the correct placement has been established with the use of X-ray contrast (Omnipaque). The procedure will take approximately 10 minutes to complete.
  7. After the procedure, you will be placed on a trolley and taken to recovery. You will remain in recovery for 30 minutes if you are undergoing diagnostic medial branch blocks for dynamic pain scoring, and will be asked to score your pain every 15 minutes for the next 2 hours.
  8. You will be seen by the doctor prior to discharge.
  9. After having something to eat and drink, you will be discharged with a carer.

Post Procedure

If you require further explanation of the procedure, please contact Hunter Pain Clinic nursing staff on (02) 4985 1800.

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