Important notice on our opioid policy
A medial branch block is a treatment for pain that has developed due to a damaged or inflamed facet joint in the spine. A facet joint is a bony structure that connects spinal vertebrae together. Facet joints help control the movement of the spine and provide extra support and stability for the vertebrae. Clinical research has shown that facet joint pain is the cause of approximately 45% of all neck and back pain that is reported by patients.
Although facet joint problems are often the cause of neck and back pain, chronic pain may also be the result of trauma or an injury. Arthritis is another common condition that may affect the facet joints. It develops when cartilage that protects the joints begins to deteriorate or the synovial fluid that cushions them begins to decrease. Arthritis often occurs with age, but may also develop due to an autoimmune disease. Facet joint arthritis, in particular, may be a source of spinal irritation and back pain. Scoliosis, which is the abnormal curvature of the spine, and poor posture may also cause chronic back pain.
Steroid injections are a form of pain management treatment that is typically performed before a medical branch block is recommended. The injections involve the administration of an anesthetic (e.g., mepivacaine, bupivacaine, or lidocaine) as well as steroids (e.g., dexamethasome) directly into the region where the targeted facet joints are located. The injections usually provide patients with long-lasting pain relief. However, they are also used as a diagnostic tool to determine if a medial branch block will be effective. If two steroid injections produce dramatic pain relief, a physician will usually recommend the block procedure next.
A medial branch block is an effective form of pain management that reduces pain by disrupting damaged nerves in facet joints from transmitting signals to the brain. The block involves the injection of an anesthetic, steroids, and a substance that destroys nerve tissue. This combination of medication numbs the affected region, reduces inflammation, and hinders pain signal transmission.
Patients who undergo medial branch block procedures generally experience dramatic pain relief that may last for up to two years. The block procedure is also used as a diagnostic tool to confirm the location of affected facet joints.
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Just over a year ago I was experiencing a lot of neck, right shoulder, arm and wrist pain. At the time, I was unable to ride my Harley due to the pain. I ended up selling my bike. I was eventually referred to Dr. Su. Over the past year he performed two injections into my neck and place me on a very low dose of nerve block medication. He was able to fix the issue without surgery. I'm back to feeling great and looking for another Harley thanks to Dr. Su.
My husband and I were not confident when we went for pain management, but after our appointment with Dr. Su we were very pleasantly surprised. He is a very compassionate person, but best of all, very informative. He took the time to demonstrate what was causing my husband's pain and set up an on going plan to find the best way to treat him. We finally found someone who gave us confidence that he cares! We would highly recommend Dr. Su.
I was very impressed with Dr. Su. He was very interested with what I had to say about my problem and he knew what I needed to have done. I was happy that he could do something for me. He had me get these two shots and after I had them I was amazed. I feel great and I will definitely go back to see him if needed. He was very caring and terrific. I would recommend him to friends and family. Thank you, Dr. Su
I have been a patient of Dr. Su's for nearly a year. I have been to other pain management doctors in the past and none of them gave me the attention and care that Dr. Su has provided. I was apprehensive to have injections in my back because he was the first to suggest that I should do it. I am so glad that I did. I feel better than I have in years! There was no reason to worry because he was very professional, caring and attentive, and did an excellent procedure on my back. I am not totally free from pain, but it is so much better than what I expected. Thank you Dr. Su for giving me a better life!
I had sciatica nerve pain in my left leg for about 3 months before my primary doctor referred me to Dr. Su. He reviewed the CT Scan that my doctor sent with me and decided that there was not a problem with my spine and disks. He felt that a special shot would relieve the pain in my leg and shrink the sciatica nerve so that it was free to move. He explained in detail what he was going to do. It has been two weeks since I received the shot and I do not have any more pain from the sciatica nerve and the numbness in my left foot is slowly going away. I was very impressed with Dr. Su and his staff. They were all very professional and concerned with my well being.
I have seen Dr. Su twice recently. I have severe degeneration in my lower spine. I also have scoliosis. The last 5 years I have been experiencing really bad pain. I couldn't walk. Doctor Su tried a injection which did not help. He then recessed the situation and tried a different injection. It's been a few months now and I feel like new! No pain at all! Thank you Dr. Su. I would recommend him to everyone!
I was first impressed with Dr. Su when he actually listened to me about my pain and not wanting any pain medicine. My visits are not rushed, and he recommends what is best for the specific pain I am experiencing. Between physical therapy and the different injections I have had with Dr. Su, my pain has decreased significantly. Being in the medical field, I know it is nearly impossible to be without pain, and could not be happier with Dr. Su.
I'm so thankful I found Dr. Su. I was able to get a radiofrequency ablation and it eliminated the bulk of my pain, and I feel great. Dr. Su has been great to work with.
Dr. Su has to be one of the nicest doctors I've had the pleasure of dealing with. He has wonderful bedside manner and most importantly knows his 'stuff'. I went to him with incredible hip pain caused from a herniated disc. He was quick to give me something to relieve my pain and to get me in for an epidural to further help with the pain. I can't say enough good things about him! He spent time asking questions and making sure that I was doing okay. He listened to my concerns and addressed each one thoroughly. Choosing Dr. Su as my pain management doctor was certainly a BLESSING!
I've had lower back pain for years. I've had to change my vehicle, take an extra day off a month, and usually had to remain vertical for most of the weekend. Dr. Su immediately knew where the nerve was that was causing it. He explained the why, where, and course of treatment. Before, that nerve would quickly get inflammed and cause another spot on my spine to get inflammed also. It's been almost 3 weeks since the injection and while I have pain in my back, that spot has not been a problem since, and compared to before, it is insignificant. Dr. Su noted the next spot giving me problems and if it doesn't benefit from PT, we will discuss our options. No Dr is perfect, but being able to tell him/her exactly where the pain is, makes for quick pain releif. I feel much better knowing I can rely on Dr Su. Thanks!
This is the first time I have ever been to a pain management doctor and I was lucky enough to be referred to Dr. Su with back pain due to spinal stenosis. He is very caring and explained each step of treatment to me in easy to understand terms. I would recommend both him and his office staff as everyone at the office was very considerate and patient.
Dr. Su explained my pain in simple language and used a model of the cervical spine to point out more detail. Dr. Su is friendly and considerate. I have had one procedure. I feel better already. I have a great deal of confidence in his skills. He is great!
Dr. Su was the first doctor that listened to my goals of getting off and staying off all meds, and not laughing at me when I told him I was vegan and wanted to treat my injury without pain meds. He actually supported my wishes and to me that's everything.
I was sent to see Dr. Su after several weeks of physical therapy for back pain. What a pleasent surprise meeting Dr. Su. I got more information in one visit than all the previous visits at other facilities. Wow, as I read through the other comments he is everything and more. Very happy we are plotting a course for a better me!
Dr. Su took time to explain what was going causing my pain. He is very personable and genually cares about helping me reduce the pain so I can be more productive. He was up front about the prognosis and his plan for treatment and physical theropy. I would recommend Dr. Su.
Doctor Su did wonders in getting me back on my feet, being able to walk around without pain, and truly understands the problem I was having
Great experience with Dr. Su and his staff! I have had several procedures and he's always compassionate, explains things well, and has an amazing bedside manner. His staff is very nice and appointment times are prompt. He will not over medicate you! Highly recommend.
I've been seeing doctors for my back injury since 1995 and have always been told the only solution to my problem was surgery. Dr. Su has been very helpful in listening to my concerns and helping me find different solutions to find relief. I cant thank Dr. Su enough for all his expertise!
Dr. Su has treated me with compassion and medical expertise. I came to him after having a negative experience. He listened to my concerns, and treated my physical pain issues while building a relationship with doctor to patient trust, that enables me to allow him to treat my pain issues successfully. He takes the time to fully explain your condition, and the treatment options.
I have been seeing Peter Su for a couple of ruptured discs and some troubling sciatica problems causing me pain. In just a over a month under his treatment my ability to get around has improved tremendously without any narcotics. He did a great job with the steroid injections and referring me to a physical rehab. Much appreciated, Dr. Su!