First, we numb the skin and underlying tissues with a local anesthetic (anesthetic injection). After that, most patients only feel pressure when we insert a very fine needle into the facet joint. You may choose to receive intravenous sedation to make the procedure more tolerable. The safest way to perform this procedure is with local anesthesia.
You can opt for intravenous sedation, which will help you relax, but you'll always be awake during the procedure to minimize the chance of nerve damage. You'll follow up with your doctor two weeks after the injection. If you still don't feel pain relief, you may be advised to repeat the injection. If you have a partial benefit but still have residual pain, a third injection may be recommended two weeks after the second.
We usually limit the number of steroid injections over a 6-month period to 3 injections. If you don't get lasting relief after 3 injections, you're unlikely to get long-term relief with a fourth injection. We try to limit the amount of steroids you are given over a 6-month period to reduce the chance of side effects. If you are allergic to corticosteroids, specific local anesthetics, or ionic contrast, tell your doctor.
Also, if you are taking an anticoagulant (Coumadin, Plavix, Warfarin, lovenox, aspirin), tell your doctor in advance to help you design a safe plan for the injection. Does the injection (s) hurt? The procedure involves inserting a needle through the skin and deeper tissues (such as a tetanus vaccine). So, there are some annoyances involved. However, we numb the skin and deeper tissues with a local anesthetic using a very fine needle before inserting the needle into the joint or along the spine.
Most patients also receive sedatives and pain relievers intravenously, making the procedure easier to tolerate. Will I be “expelled” for this procedure? Not. This procedure is performed under local anesthesia. The amount of sedation administered generally depends on the patient's tolerance.
What should I expect after the injection? Immediately after the injection, you may feel that the pain has gone away or has decreased. This is due to the local anesthesia injected. This may last for a variable period of time, depending on the medication that was injected. Keep track of your pain levels for at least 24 hours after the injection, as this information may be needed to help determine the next step in your treatment.
This injection may not provide lasting relief, even if the short-term relief is drastic. You may feel some pain at the injection site. How long does the effect of the medication last? It depends on the medication being injected. Your doctor may not tell you how long you can wait for relief, as this may be part of the information that determines if you have responded as expected or if it is a “placebo response”.
Who should not get this injection? If you are allergic to any of the medications you are going to inject, you should not receive the injection. Your doctor may tell you to stop taking blood thinners before the procedure. If you have an active infection, your doctor may postpone the procedure until you are better. A facet block is an injection of local anesthetic and steroids into a spinal joint.
A medial branch block is similar, but the medication is placed outside the joint space, near the nerve that supplies the joint, called the medial branch (a steroid can be used or not). If the facet joint block is effective in relieving pain, the procedure may be repeated up to three times a year. Fluoroscopy, a form of real-time radiography, or CT, is used to guide the placement of the needle in the facet joint. Injecting a local anesthetic around these nerves causes numbness in the sacroiliac joint.
Sometimes contrast material is injected into the joint and the placement of the needle is confirmed by radiographs or CT scans in real time. Minimally invasive image-guided procedures, such as facet joint blockages, are usually performed on an outpatient basis by an interventional radiologist. We hypothesized an entry mechanism through the facet joint, given the proximity of the ligament flavum and the intrathecal space to the front side of the facet joint. You will be lying face down for lumbar facet joints or on your back for cervical facet joints on an X-ray table.
Guided by real-time X-ray images or computed tomography, the doctor will insert the needle through the skin and into the facet joint being treated. Facet joint block is a minimally invasive procedure in which the doctor uses a fluoroscopy or a CT scan to guide the placement of an injection of medication into a facet joint to relieve pain. Facet blocks and medial branch blocks are generally used for patients who have pain mainly in the back due to arthritic changes in facet joints or for mechanical low back pain. The left side was injected without problems; however, 1-2 minutes after the injection on the right side, the patient complained of discomfort and became very anxious.
In a facet joint block, the doctor uses a fluoroscopy or a CT scan to guide the insertion of the needle through the skin until it reaches the facet joint. Sometimes, when facet joint tissue becomes inflamed and irritated, they cause pain when bending the back. . .