Lumbar Medial Branch Block
A lumbar medial branch block is performed to diagnose facet joint pain in the area of the low back and buttock. Leg pain does not usually result from facet joint pain. The procedure is carried out under x-ray guidance to better visualize the area, and local anesthetic is injected into the medial nerves of the lumbar spine. If the local anesthetic calms the pain for its duration, a confirmatory injection and/or radiofrequency ablation can be performed to provide longer-lasting pain relief. A lumbar medial branch block can also be performed for therapeutic purposes by injecting corticosteroid along with the local anesthetic in an attempt to provide additional longer-lasting pain relief.