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    Lumbar Medial Branch block and RF Ablation

    When lumbar facet joints get injured or become arthritic, the lumbar medial branch nerves send pain signals to the brain. This results in a painful lower back and limited movement. 

    What is lumbar medial branch block and RF ablation?

    Lumbar medial branch block and RF ablation stop the lumbar medial branch nerves from sending pain signals to the brain. 

    A lumbar medial branch block can diagnose injured or arthritic lumbar facet joints; RF ablation provides long-term pain relief for lower back pain. The lumbar medial branch nerves are heated with radiofrequency so they stop sending pain signals. 

    How is lumbar medial branch block and RF ablation performed?

    The patient receives IV sedation. They lie face down on the procedure table. The doctor cleans the patient’s lower back for injection. 

    Using an x-ray guided needle, the doctor injects a contrast dye to ensure the anesthetic goes exactly where it needs to. The anesthetic is then injected near the nerves.

    If the patient feels significant pain relief, they can opt for RF ablation. RF ablation follows the same steps, but the doctor uses a needle with tips to heat the nerves with radiofrequency after injecting anesthesia.

    What to expect after the procedure

    The injection site is bandaged, and the patient stays in the recovery room for about 30 minutes. Bandages can be removed the next day.

    You shouldn’t drive or operate machinery within 24 hours after the procedure. Allow time to rest for the next two days. You also shouldn’t take a bath or sit in a tub for 48 hours. Showers are okay. 

    Is lumbar medial branch block and RF ablation right for you?

    If you have lower back pain, talk to our expert pain management doctor at Torrance Pain Institute for lumbar medial branch block and RF ablation in Torrance.