Lumbar Medial Branch Ablation

Lumbar medial branch ablation is a radio wave treatment that is performed to deactivate the lumbar medial branch nerve to no longer send pain signals from the injured joint to the brain. The radiation waves subject the medial lumbar nerve to thus destroying its ability to perform regular duties. The radio waves are transmitted using a needle inserted into your skin through to your medial branch nerve by X-ray images.

Lumbar medial branch ablation is ideal for those of you who have chronic pain in your lower back, arthritic joints, or neck. Your orthopedic surgeon will recommend this surgery because it provides immediate pain relief, decreases the use of pain medication, needs little to no recovery time, improves the ability to perform everyday duties, and is a better option for surgery.

Damaging the lumbar nerve causes them to be inactive for several months, and in some cases, they may grow back and thus need another procedure down the road. Consult with a Miami orthopedic surgeon at Ceda Orthopedic Group to learn more about the lumbar medial branch ablation surgery, and if you could be a candidate to receive the treatment.

What are the dangers/risks involved in the lumbar medial branch ablation surgery?

The risks are minimal; however, there is a common risk involved in the lumbar medial branch ablation procedure. They include:

  • Nerve damage could be to the spinal cord or the nerve roots
  • Infection
  • Bleeding and bruises at the injection area
  • In some worse pain or no improvement on the pain
  • Allergic reaction to surgery medication

Patients should proceed with a lumbar medial branch ablation surgery if all other conservative treatments didn’t show improvement in back pain. Speaking with an orthopedic surgeon will help you determine the best course of action to cure your back pain or other pain. Fill out this form to contact Ceda Orthopedic Group for professional advice and treatments for your back pain.

How should you prepare for the lumbar medial branch ablation procedure?

It’s a good idea to have transportation ready for you before and after the procedure. If you schedule an appointment with Ceda Orthopedic Group, we offer transportation to our patients because those we treat at Ceda Orthopedic Group are usually in a lot of pain. We want to make the process as easy as possible for patients.

If you are taking other medications, it is best to discuss with your orthopedic to know which to stop days or hours before the surgery to avoid any drug interactions.

Since you will be sedated, it is recommended not to eat or drink 6 hours before the surgery. However, you can take a small amount of clear water two hours before the surgery.

Ensure to discuss any allergic reaction to any previous treatment with your doctor, especially if they involve radiology. If you are asthmatic, let your doctor know your condition before surgery. It’s best to disclose as much information as possible before surgery to help your doctor understand your medical history.

What takes place during the lumbar medial branch ablation surgery?

First, the orthopedic surgeons will put you under monitoring devices to monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, and blood pressure. Next, the surgeons and nurses clean the surgical area with a disinfectant, and then a numbing medication will be injected. Some patients report feeling a burning sensation for a few minutes.

After you are numb, the doctor will insert a needle to your lumbar nerve through the guidance of the x-ray machine known as fluoroscope through to every level of the nerve that needs ablation. Once the needles are in place, low-level stimulation, which is electrified, is applied to the nerves. You will likely feel either a buzzing or thumping sensation, and the surgeons will ask where it is exactly you feel it to make sure they hit the correct nerve.

Once they identify where the problem is, they’ll put you on local anesthesia, then start with radiofrequency ablation—the radiofrequency heats the nerve tissues to heat up to disable the medial lumbar nerve.

How orthopedic attention helps with lumbar medial branch ablations

Ceda Orthopedic Group recommends the procedure after you’ve tried other pain preventative measures, and that showed zero positive results. If you need advice on how to treat your back pain, our physicians at Ceda Orthopedic Group will perform the Lumbar medial branch ablation, prescribe medication as well as advise on appropriate exercises and physical therapy.

Contact an Orthopedic specialist at Ceda Orthopedic Group today by visiting