Facet Joint Injection

What is it?

Facet Injection

Facet joint injections are used to treat inflamed and arthritic joints in the spine. When your neck or back pain is affecting the quality of your life, the Interventional Pain Doctors are here for you.

We offer facet injections for those with chronic or acute pain in the lumbar, thoracic, or cervical spine to mitigate pain and to improve range of motion. Our experienced physicians are specialized at using facet injections to provide successful and quick relief from pain.

What are facet joints?

In your spine, the joints connecting each of your vertebrae are known as facet joints. They provide stability and limit the amount of twisting and backward extension of the spine.

Sports injuries, motor vehicle accidents, and arthritis can damage the facet joints. When the facet joints become inflamed, they can cause pain, soreness, and stiffness. Neck and low back pain are among the most common medical complaints worldwide, and facet joint syndrome is a common cause.

Facet Joint Syndrome

This condition is a deterioration of the facet joints, which help stabilize the spine and limit excessive motion. The facet joints are lined with cartilage and are surrounded by a lubricating capsule that enables the vertebrae to bend and twist.

Am I a good candidate for facet joint injection?

If you have neck or back pain that is associated with stiffness, loss of range of motion, and difficulty extending your neck or back, you may be a good candidate for a facet joint injection. The Interventional Pain Doctors team of spine and pain management specialists can diagnose facet joint pain during a comprehensive history and physical examination with confirmatory imaging. This will help us determine if you are a good candidate for treatment.

Facet joint injections are used for therapeutic reasons of decreasing pain and increasing function and range of motion of the spine. Facet joint injections are also used to help diagnose the source of your pain for surgical planning.

The facet joints, found on both sides of the back of the spine, can become painfully irritated or inflamed. A facet joint injection may help diagnose the source of a patient's pain. It can also relieve pain and inflammation.

What to expect afterwards?

All our injections are performed in the sterile operating room using image guidance. You will first be comfortably positioned and monitors to check your vital signs will be placed. Oxygen will be given to you if you get sedation. After a sterile cleaning of the site to be injected, sedation will be given if desired. Then local anesthesia will be used to numb the skin. The needle will be placed using image guidance and confirmed with contrast dye. Medication will then be administered and needles removed. Band-aids will be placed and you will be taken to the recovery room until you are ready for discharge home.

Is there another way to treat facet joint pain?

Yes. If a facet joint injection only provides short term relief and if you have a significant amount of arthritis, you may be a candidate for treatment of the nerve that goes to the facet joint, called a radio frequency ablation. Please refer to our section on Radio frequency Ablation for more information.

The Right Treatment For You

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