Facet Joint Nerve Blocks
A facet nerve block is a diagnostic procedure to determine if the facet joints are a source of your pain. If a facet nerve block works, it will give you relief for several hours, but only on the side that was blocked. After that, the pain is expected to return to normal. This test is always performed twice (usually a week or two apart) because two successful tests are required to move onto treatment. If both diagnostic tests are positive, then we schedule a treatment called radiofrequency (RF) ablation. In this procedure, the same nerves are cauterized, which typically leads to pain relief for 12-18 months (please see the link for Facet Radiofrequency Ablation to learn more about this procedure). If this process works well for one side, it can be performed on the other side as well.