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Facet joints connect your vertebrae to each other. Problems in these joints can cause chronic (long-term) pain in the neck or back. They can sometimes affect the shoulders, arms, buttocks, or legs.
The medial branch nerves are the nerves that carry many of the pain messages from your facet joints.
During your medial branch neurotomy, your doctor used radio waves to damage a nerve in your neck or back to help your pain.
You may feel a little sore or tender at the injection site at first. But after a successful neurotomy, most people have pain relief right away. And it usually lasts for 9 to 12 months or longer. Sometimes the pain relief is permanent.
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.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: March 28, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & John M. Freedman MD - Anesthesiology
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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