Cervical Procedures

Cervical Medial Nerve Branch Radiofrequency Ablation

Cervical Medial Branch Radiofrequency Ablation is a treatment for a common chronic pain localized in the neck. Chronic neck pain may be a symptom of Cervical Facet Syndrome which can be treated with Cervical Branch Radiofrequency Ablation. This is a minimally invasive procedure performed under local anesthetic. The objective of the procedure is to locate and destroy part of the nerve carrying the pain signal to the brain. Following anesthesia, the nerve conducting the pain is located and the surgeon places a tiny electrode which can emit radiofrequencies by the nerve. Emissions from this electrode will heat and cauterize the nerve, thereby eliminating the transmission of the pain to the brain.

Epidural Steroid Injection

An epidural steroid injection is a common non-surgical treatment option to help alleviate pain in the upper spine/neck caused by irritated nerves. This choice of treatment is focused on pain relief and the results are temporary. However, combined with a rehabilitation program, short-term pain relief can be beneficial. The steroid that is injected reduces inflammation and therefore reduces painful irritation. This can be a treatment for herniated lumbar discs, degenerative disc disease and lumbar spinal stenosis (or a narrowing of the spinal canal that compresses nerves and the spinal cord).

Facet/Medial Nerve Block

Patients with increasing arthritis in the facet joints and patients with lower back pain can seek diagnosis and treatment with a facet/medial nerve branch block. With a facet block, a steroid injection is made into a joint in the spine that is experiencing pain. With such block, the injection is made outside the joint near the nerve. In both cases, the results of the treatment can vary. If pain returns, the length of time relief was experienced and how the pain returns can be used in diagnosis to tell the doctor more about how to proceed with further treatment. Blocks are treatments that can be repeated if benefits are derived.

Nerve Root Blocks

A nerve root block is frequently a diagnostic tool to help the doctor diagnose back and neck pain. The injection of steroid and anesthetic can also have therapeutic benefits depending on the patient’s condition. In the procedure, an injection of anesthetic and steroid is made into the sheath around the nerve root in the spine to reduce inflammation. This injection will cause short-term relief from the pain and allow the doctor to specifically isolate the nature of the pain. Depending on the patient’s symptoms, the anti-inflammatory injection may treat the area and offer long-term relief.

Stellate Ganglion/Sympathetic Blocks

For patients with pain related to their sympathetic nervous system, a stellate ganglion block (also known as a sympathetic block) can diagnose, and in some cases, relieve pain. This can be properly diagnosed pain in the head, neck, arm or chest regions. A stellate ganglion block involves an injection of a local anesthetic into the front of the neck. From a diagnostic point of view, a stellate ganglion block also helps to determine if circulation issues can be improved with some diseases. Short-term pain relief will result from the treatment and depending on the patient’s symptoms, long-term relief from the pain may be experienced.