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Cervical Facet Nerve Block: Ultrasound 

Cervical Facet Nerve Block: Ultrasound
Cervical Facet Nerve Block: Ultrasound

Andreas Siegenthaler

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date: 16 September 2021

The cervical facet joints are well-documented sources of chronic neck pain and headache. Ultrasound may offer the advantage of visualizing the actual target nerves, which is not possible with fluoroscopy. The relevant structures are located much more superficially than in the lumbar spine, hence visibility of the potential targets with ultrasound is expected to be better than in the lumbar region. Besides the ability to perform diagnostic nerve blocks, ultrasound imaging is expected to increase precision of radiofrequency neurotomy due to the ability to localize the exact course of a facet joint supplying nerve. For practitioners with only little experience in cervical sonoanatomy, we recommend performing ultrasound-guided cervical medial branch blocks with parallel fluoroscopic control first till one gains more experience. Correct level determination with ultrasound as described may be difficult for beginners, and the parallel use of fluoroscopy will help developing a “feel” for the procedure.

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