Facet Medial Branch Block

Facet medial branch block is a procedure to reduce pain from inflamed nerves where two vertebrae join. Facet joints are the joints that join two vertebrae, and the nerves that supply these joints are the medial branches. Pain from these joints and nerves are experienced as back pain, hip pain, and pain going down the leg to just above the knee. The pain is treated by injecting numbing medicine in the form of local anesthetics, and steroids directly around the medial branch nerves or into the facet joints. Pain relief can last weeks to months. If the blocks are effective, the nerves can be destroyed to provide longer-lasting pain reduction. With the patient placed face down on the procedure table, an IV is started and sedation is given. The site is cleaned then injected with a local anesthetic and the steroid medication. The procedure lasts only a few minutes plus a short recovery period. Patients should be accompanied by a driver.


Treating pain and freeing the body of its effects requires comprehensive medical management. The physicians and staff of the UAB Medicine Pain Treatment Clinic offer the latest in pain management techniques, backed by the innovation, knowledge, and research of one of the country’s largest academic medical centers.

We recognize that relief from pain is just the first step in longer-term treatment. The multidisciplinary team combines clinical care with image-guided interventions, physical therapy, psychological assistance, medication, and ongoing consults with your primary care physicians.

At our clinic, the needs of each patient are addressed in an individualized manner, and the treatment program is carefully tailored to provide the best possible outcome. We are located at convenient UAB Hospital-Highlands, where access is easy and parking is free.



UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials for Facet Medial Branch Block . We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information on clinical trials at clinicaltrials.gov.

View Clinical Trials