Thoracic Medial Branch Block
What is thoracic medial branch?
Thoracic medial branch are the nerves supplying the thoracic facet joints. Thoracic facet joints are small joints on both the sides between the upper and lower vertebrae.
What is its role?
This nerve will carry the pain signals from the facet joint to the brain which has undergone arthritis changes.
How will the patient present?
The patient will have pain in the upper or mid back depending on the level of facet joint involvement. Pain will be more on bending or movements and hyper tenderness of the spine.
How is the procedure done?
This procedure is done in operation theater under the effect of local anesthesia. Under fluoroscopic guidance the affected facet joint and medial branch is identified and medicines are given
How long the procedure will take?
The procedure will take 15- 20 minutes and then patient will be kept under observation for two hours and then discharged. There will be immediate pain relief and numbness will be present around the injection site.
What are the post intervention recommendations?
Post procedure patient is advised to follow all the exercises and medicines as prescribed by the doctor. Patient may resume work on the next day.
Will this give permanent relief?
This procedure may or may not give permanent relief depending on the amount of inflammation present. Other alternatives like radiofrequency ablation of the medial branch can be done if pain recurs.