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. Because most patients undergo light sedation, you'll need to arrange a trip back home.
It is recommended that you rest during the day and resume your work one day after the injection. Facet joint injections are a treatment for chronic pain in the back or neck. The injection is given into facet joints, which are the joints that connect the vertebrae of the spinal column. Facet joint injections can be done with or without steroids.
Steroids are anti-inflammatory medications that can help reduce pain and swelling. Facet joint injections can also be done with local anesthesia, which numbs the area around the injection site, or with light sedation that helps you feel more relaxed during the procedure. Facet joints are a pair of small joints located at the back of the spine, between each of the vertebrae. 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 injections contain an anti-inflammatory steroid used to help relieve inflammation and pain. 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. A facet joint injection is a procedure in which analgesic and anti-inflammatory medications are injected into facet joints to reduce pain. A contrast dye is first injected into the site to confirm the correct placement of the needle before injecting the anesthetic and anti-inflammatory medication into the facet joint.
If the facet joint block is effective in relieving pain, the procedure may be repeated up to three times a year. Patients who are asked to undergo facet injections tend to suffer from back pain that glows through the lumbar or cervical regions. Fluoroscopy, a form of real-time radiography, is used to guide the placement of the needle in the facet joint. If the injection does not relieve pain, it may be because the injection did not reach the source of the pain or because the pain is not caused by facet joints.
Injecting into the facet joint reduces pain in the small joints at the back of the spine, between the vertebrae. Sometimes contrast material is injected into the joint and the placement of the needle is confirmed by radiographs or CT scans in real time. Facet joints suffer a lot of stress due to chronic or acute conditions and, as a result, become inflamed and arthritic. Facet joint injections are usually done on an outpatient basis, meaning you can go home the same day.