FACET JOINT INJECTIONS
WHAT ARE FACET JOINT INJECTIONS?
Each vertebra in the spine is connected to the vertebra above and below by two facet joints, one on each side of the spine. For neck, middle, and lower back pain believed to originate from these joints, the facet joint injection can confirm whether the facet joints are actually the source of pain. Diagnostically, it helps to determine the next steps in treatment depending on if the facet joints are the source of pain and if relief of pain and inflammation is experienced from the injection.
STEP 1: The skin of the specific facet joints is numbed with a local anesthetic injection.
STEP 2: A Fluoroscopic x-ray is used to guide the needle into the specific facet joint. Contrast dye is injected into the joint to confirm placement.
STEP 3: A combination of numbing anesthetic and an anti-inflammatory steroid medication is delivered into the facet joint, bathing the site of pain with medication. Depending on the location of pain, additional sites may need to be done.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER A FACET JOINT INJECTION
The pain may significantly improve immediately but once anesthetic wears off, pain may return. It usually takes 5-10 days for the steroid medication to reduce inflammation and improve pain. Effects may last from days to months.
The day of the procedure apply a cool pack to the injection site for 15 minutes every hour while awake. You can continue this until soreness resolves. Please remove the band-aids placed after the procedure within 2-3 hours after the procedure. You may restart therapy 3 days after the procedure.
Return to Work
You may return to work the following day.
Return to Clinic for Evaluation After
It is very important to follow up within 2-3 weeks for further evaluation following the procedure.