Medial Branch Neurotomy - Neck, Back and Leg PainWisconsin River Orthopaedic Institute - Health Library
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Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

Medial Branch NeurotomyNeurotom­a de la rama medial

Medial Branch Neurotomy

Back or neck pain may be due to problems with certain nerves near your spine. If so, a medial branch neurotomy can help relieve your pain. The treatment uses heat, cold, or chemicals to destroy the nerves near a problem joint. This keeps some pain messages from traveling to the brain, and helps relieve your symptoms.

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Medial Branch Nerves

Each vertebra in your spine has facets (flat surfaces). They touch where the vertebrae fit together. This forms a facet joint. Each facet joint has at least two medial branch nerves. They are part of the nerve pathway to and from each facet joint. A facet joint in your back or neck can become inflamed (swollen and irritated). Pain messages may then travel along the nerve pathway from the facet joint to your brain.

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Blocking Pain Messages

Medial branch nerves in each facet joint send and carry messages about back or neck pain. Destroying a few of these nerves can keep certain pain messages from reaching the brain. This can help bring you relief.

Risks and Complications

Risks and complications are rare, but can include:

  • Infection

  • Increased pain, numbness, or weakness

  • Nerve damage

  • Bleeding

  • Failure to relieve pain

Date Last Reviewed: 2004-10-21T00:00:00-06:00

Date Last Modified: 2002-07-09T00:00:00-06:00

Contact Wisconsin River Orthopaedic Institute at 715.424.1881 for your orthopaedic needs. For your convenience, you can fill out our online Request an Appointment form to book your consultation.

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For your orthopedic needs, contact Wisconsin River Orthopaedic Institute at 715.424.1881 . For your convenience, you can fill out our online Request an Appointment form to book your consultation. We...
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