Is a facet joint injection considered surgery?

Facet injections are considered to be the most appropriate means of non-surgical treatment with minimal risks. Possible risks and complications associated with inserting the needle may include bleeding, infections, allergic reactions, or nerve damage. Facet joint injections are one of the most frequently performed procedures among all spinal interventions. Facet joint pain may be due to osteoarthritis, segmental instability, trauma, pinched meniscoid, and inflammatory synovitis.

Patients with facet joint pain may have symptoms of neck pain, back pain, and pain that worsens with hyperextension, lateral flexion, and rotation. Facet joint injections are non-invasive, non-surgical procedures performed in an outpatient facility. You will be discharged the same day of the injection. However, you should have a friend or family member ready to take you to the clinic and pick you up at the clinic because of the local anesthesia used during the procedure.

If radiofrequency ablation of the medial branches that innervate the facet joint is desired to obtain more lasting relief, the above test blocks should be performed only with local anesthesia (0.25 to 0.5 ml of 2% lidocaine or 0.5% bupivacaine) at the level of the medial branches. Like the knee or hip, facet joints have cartilage between the bones and a capsule filled with fluid to allow for smooth movement. Patient placement is the responsibility of the entire team, but is usually performed by the nurse and then adjusted as needed to optimize access to the desired facet joint. Facet joint injections are commonly used to diagnose facet joint pain and can provide therapeutic effects.

There are a large number of reasons why you may experience back or neck pain, one of them being facet joint syndrome. Facet joint injections will only be effective in relieving pain in people who suffer pain in one or more facet joints due to injury, inflammation, or irritation of the nerves in the joint. Patients with back, leg, arm, or neck pain suspected of originating from facet joints are likely candidates to receive a facet injection. 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.

Initially, the doctor will administer a series of physical diagnostic tests that will stress the facet joint or joints. Among the different types of etiologies of facet joint pain, degenerative osteoarthritis is the most common cause. Minimally invasive image-guided procedures, such as facet joint blockages, are usually performed on an outpatient basis by an interventional radiologist. If bending, twisting or moving your torso or head has caused you discomfort and interrupts your quality of life, but you don't know what is causing that pain, it may be time to check for problems with your facet joint.

Fluoroscopy, a form of real-time radiography, is used to guide the placement of the needle in the facet joint. A facet joint injection is done to treat neck and back pain in combination with other non-surgical treatments for the spine, such as rest, medications, chiropractic manipulations, and physical therapy. It should be noted that intra-articular injection of the facet joint does not serve as a diagnostic block in preparation for radiofrequency ablation. .

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