Medial branch block and radio frequency lesioning

Radley Member Posts: 8
edited 2. Dec 2019, 11:08 in Chat to our Helpline Team
I have found out that I have facet joint arthritis and have been booked in for bilateral medial branch blocks followed by radio frequency denervation treatment.
Has anyone else had this treatment? Did it help?


  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I am riddled with OA in most joints and have degenerative facet joint disease, as well as compressed discs, detached disc in my neck and other problems. I have had medial branch blocks, which is just the term for injections of steroids and anaesthetic around the spine several times and none of them lasted longer than a week although they are supposed to give months of relief, even up to 2 years relief!. I have also had denervations twice, this is done under local anaesthetic when one is lying face down on an x-ray plate on a metal table which completes a circuit, the surgeon then pushes a long needle into the area around the spine guided by the live x-ray feed, when the needle hits the nerve I screamed and the surgeon said "good I have found it" then activated the switch to burn the nerve in question out; the procedure is repeated several times. Like I said I have had this procedure a couple of times and the effect did not last long, the surgeon explained that this is because the nerves will re-route themselves to get the pain signals to the brain. The procedures obviously works for some people otherwise the medics would not keep using them so just because they did not work for me I would still encourage anyone being offered them to go for it, ANYTHING that offers the prospect of reducing the amount of pain suffered is worth trying!
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 3,289
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Dear Radley

    Thank you for your posting on the forum. I see that, following your post, others have shared their experiences of these procedures. As we are all individuals even with the same treatment our experiences may differ.
    You can also speak to your medical team about any concerns you may have and what you can expect during and following the treatment.
    There is information all about both procedures on the following links that may be helpful to you. The first is about facet joint radiofrequency denervation
    The following link is about facet joint medial branch blocks for the treatment of pain
    There is also information on our website about managing pain. This is on the link
    If you would like to talk things through you can call and talk confidentially to one of our helpline team. You can do this by calling our freephone helpline on 0800 5200 520 (9am – 8pm weekdays).
    I hope this information is helpful to you.

    Best Wishes