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Medial branch block
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Medial branch block

After a bad accident, fractured femur,pelvis,ribs,lower vertebrae and torn rotator cuff,one year agp, I,m still having lots of neck pain. It has gotten worse over time. All my bones have pretty well healed. I'm doing more PT and getting around more now, but the neck pain and headaches are getting worse. The back of my head still hurts when I lie down even after a whole year has passed.
They did a medial branch block on the left side of my neck 2 days ago. Very soon after this I could rotate my head to almost normal range looking to left and the pain was real mild. I still could not rotate to the right and pain was still there when looking to right. Six to Eight hours later all pain was back. Will the procedure to burn the nerves where the block was done give me long lasting relief and can they do both sides at the same time. Also is this what is causing the back of my head to hurt when I lie down?
6 Comments Post a Comment
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7721494 tn?1431631564
Hello Rustyman1. Yes, the medial branch block is a diagnostic technique to check the efficacy of the medial branch neurotomy procedure.

If the numbing medication injected near that nerve reduced your pain temporarily, then it is likely that a bilateral RF ablation of that nerve will reduce your pain for up to a year or more -- until the nerve grows back.

I hope that your doctor explained there will be pain after the procedure that normally lasts a week or two. Treat this with ice and you should be fine. In aabout a month, you'll be feeling much better.

I have severe pain from advanced spondylosis in my neck and lower back, and my annual medial branch RFA procedures removes about 50% of the LBP, and 90% of the neck pain from this arthritic condition. During this period, I can reduce my medication needs and do some of the things i enjoy that have been lost to me for years.

Good luck.
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547368 tn?1440545385
Welcome to our Pain Management Community.

I'm so sorry to hear about your accident - a MVA? I too had one some years ago that left me with multiple fractures and internal injuries. I know the long process to regain function and return to something close to normal. My heart goes out to you.

I have not had an RFA - though many ppl that come to our forum and several personal friends have had the procedure. Obviously our Phil fits in that category. I have heard mostly good things - improvement in function and reducing in pain. Most ppl claim 6-12 months of improvement. As you know this procedure requires frequent repeats. Most claim it's worth it.

What I have learned is the success rates depend on the skill and experience of the practitioner - So be certain your practitioner is both - skilled and experienced.

I have had similar injections (blocks). As you noted close to immediately I had little to no pain. Gosh I thought I was in heaven that first day. The next day (as Phil states) I experienced some nasty pain - which was from the actual procedure. Within a few days that pain subsided and I was much more comfortable. That's the normal course of the procedure.

I hope you'll keep in touch and let us know how you are progressing. Our members are knowledgeable and supportive. I hope you'll join us. We learn from one another. We'll look forward to hearing from you again soon.

My Best to You,
~Tuck
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Avatar m tn
Can anyone hold down a job after rfa? Or r u still disabled after rfa?
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Avatar f tn
I, too, want to welcome you to our Forum! :)

I'm sorry your in such pain.  I have DDD (Degenerative Disc Disease) and have been receiving the RFA's for the past 4 years on my back.  I get tremendous relief on my lower back (lumbar) area.  My RFA's last for up to 2 years each time.  I've also had it done on my cervical and thoracic but I didn't get the same results. It didn't last nearly as long.  HOWEVER, others have received great relief in both the thoracic and the cervical areas.

To rich101shannon:  I was back to my normal routine within a couple of days.  They want you to rest for awhile after, especially the first 24 to 36 hours but after that I was fine and my pain was gone.  Now some people have more pain immediately after the RFA but I was 1 of the lucky one's that didn't have to go thru it. IF you do experience the pain afterwards, as Phil was explaining to Rustyman1, above, just follow his directions as they are, as always, exactly correct.  :)   As far as your job goes, it's going to depend exactly what type of work you do.  If it's an office job, I can't imagine why you couldn't return after a couple of days (or sooner if your Dr. gives you the ok).  

I wish you both the very best and look forward to BOTH of your updates.  
                                   ............     Sherry   :)
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547368 tn?1440545385
Hello and Welcome,

Please begin a new thread instead of tacking your question on to another person's thread. It will allow you better visibility and you'll obtain more responses. Thank you.

Peace,
~Tuck
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7721494 tn?1431631564
RFA does not disable you -- pain disables you.

If RFA reduces pain, it can help you hold down a job.
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