Facet injection, also known as facet joint injection or facet block, is a medical procedure used to diagnose and treat pain originating from the facet joints in the spine. The facet joints are small joints located between the vertebrae that provide stability and enable movement in the spine.
During a facet injection, a local anesthetic (such as lidocaine or bupivacaine) and a corticosteroid medication (such as triamcinolone or methylprednisolone) are injected into the facet joint or the surrounding area. The injection can help relieve pain by reducing inflammation and numbing the nerves in and around the joint.
Facet injections are commonly used to manage pain caused by conditions such as facet joint syndrome, facet joint osteoarthritis, or facet joint inflammation. They are often performed when other conservative treatments, such as physical therapy or medication, have not provided sufficient relief.
The procedure is typically performed under fluoroscopic guidance, which involves the use of real-time X-ray imaging to ensure accurate needle placement. The patient is positioned lying face down on a table, and the skin over the injection site is sterilized. Local anesthesia may be administered to numb the skin and deeper tissues before the injection.
patients are monitored for a short period before being discharged. Some individuals may experience temporary relief of pain immediately after the injection due to the local anesthetic. The corticosteroid medication may take a few days to weeks to reach its full effect, providing longer-lasting pain relief.
It’s important to note that facet injections are primarily used for diagnostic purposes to confirm if the facet joint is the source of pain. If the injections provide significant pain relief, it can indicate that the facet joint is indeed the cause of the pain. In such cases, additional treatments such as radiofrequency ablation (a procedure that uses heat to disrupt the nerve signals) may be considered to provide longer-term pain relief.
Facet injections, like any medical procedure, include risks and potential problems. Infection, hemorrhage, nerve damage, allergic reactions, or a brief increase in pain are examples of these. Before undertaking the operation, it is critical to consider the potential advantages and dangers with your healthcare physician.
A minimally invasive treatment called facet injection offers symptomatic relief from back pain caused by inflammation of the facet joints; however, this is not a permanent solution for the condition. The objective of the treatment is to suppress pain so that normal activities can be resumed and you can perform physical therapy exercises.
The facet injection procedure may be performed primarily as a diagnostic test to determine if the pain is originating from the facet joints. Secondly, it is used to treat inflammation caused by several spine conditions. It may reduce inflammation in the facet joints caused by conditions such as: Stenosis of the spine Spondylolysis Sciatica Herniation of the disc Arthritis
A lumbar facet joint block is an injection of local anesthetic (numbing medicine) into one or more of the small joints located along the side of each vertebrae on both sides of the spine in the lower part of the back.