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Are Diagnostic Lumbar Medial Branch Blocks Valid?

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  • Create Date November 3, 2003

The precise cause of low back pain based on clinical history, physical examination, radiological imaging, and electrophysiological testing can be identifi ed in only 15% of patients in the absence of disc herniation and neurological deficit. The prevalence of chronic lumbar zygapophysial (facet) joint pain ranges from 15% to 45% utilizing comparative local anesthetic blocks in controlled settings in accordance with the criteria established by the International Association for the Study of Pain. Currently, facet joint injection procedures are considered as the gold standard in the diagnosis of facet joint pain.

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