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Medial branch neurotomy is a procedure to help relieve long-term pain. It uses radio waves to damage nerves in your neck or back so they no longer send pain messages.
Medial branch nerves carry many of the pain messages to your brain from the facet joints in your neck and back. These are the joints that connect your vertebrae to each other. Problems in these joints can cause long-term pain.
The doctor will first use a tiny needle to numb the skin. Then he or she will put the neurotomy needle into the numbed area. You may feel some pressure, but you should not feel pain.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.
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Current as of: April 8, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & John M. Freedman MD - Anesthesiology
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