A facet joint injection is a diagnostic procedure that involves injecting anesthetic and cortisone into the joint. This injection is done to confirm that the joint is the source of the pain, and in some cases, it can provide long-term relief for up to three months. The skin becomes numb and the doctor uses a needle guided by a fluoroscope to place it close to the facet joint. Injecting into the facet joint reduces pain in the small joints at the back of the spine, between the vertebrae.
The medicinal anesthetic and corticosteroid cocktail used in an injection into the facet joint provides double relief.
Facet joint injectionshave been shown to be effective in relieving facet joint pain in many patients. If the medication is injected directly into the joint, it is called a facet intra-articular injection or simply an injection into the facet joint. It is important to note that the pain relief provided by facet joint injections is usually not permanent and may require ongoing treatment depending on the results of the first injection.
Facet joints are similar to other joints in the body and are equally susceptible to injury or wear and tear, such as arthritis, infections or impact trauma. Facet joint injections contain anti-inflammatory steroids and often also a local anesthetic. Using a fluoroscopy, the radiologist will insert a small needle into the corresponding facet spinal joint.In addition to providing diagnostic information, some patients (10 to 20%) will get long-term relief for 3 months. If the procedure provides significant relief while anesthesia or cortisone lasts, patients will be considered candidates for medial branch blockage and, possibly, radiofrequency neurotomy.
Sometimes, injections can cause increased facet joint pain for the first few days before relief finally occurs.Facet joint injections are a great way to reduce pain in your spine and provide long-term relief for many patients. However, it is important to remember that these injections are not permanent solutions and may require ongoing treatment depending on your individual situation. If you are experiencing chronic pain in your spine, it is important to speak with your doctor about whether facet joint injections may be right for you.