Facet Joint Injection

A facet joint injection involves injecting local anesthetics and sometimes steroids into or around a facet joint.

The local anesthetics numb the nerves to the facet joint to give pain relief. The steroids reduce inflammation and may make the pain relief last longer.

What is a facet joint?

Your spine is made up of a column of bones called vertebrae. The vertebrae are joined together by small facet joints and spongy discs that sit between your vertebrae. Facet joints help to stabilize your spine.

As you get older wear and tear in your facet joints can cause pain. Often the pain is in another area of your body such as your thigh, buttocks or neck. A facet joint injection is a diagnostic tool to help your consultant confirm that your pain is caused by your wear and tear of your facet joints.

How long does it take to do?

The actual injection takes only a few minutes. Please allow about an hour for the procedure.

Will it hurt?

All of our procedures begin by injecting a small amount of local anesthetic through a very small needle. It feels like a little pinch and then a slight burning as the local anesthetic starts numbing the skin. After the skin is numb, the procedure needle feels like a bit of pressure at the injection site. If you experience any pain during the procedure, the doctor will inject more local anesthetic as needed.

 

Medial branch blocks

Medical branch block is an injection of a local anaesthetic near the medial branch nerves to temporarily block the pain signal carried from the facet joints of the spine to the brain. It is used to assist your physician in diagnosing the cause of your back pain.

Facet joints are the joints connecting the different vertebrae of the spine to each other. Medial branch nerves are small nerves that supply the facet joints of the spine. If a medial branch block is successful in confirming the patient’s back pain is originating from the facet joints, Radiofrequency Rhizotomy is indicated to provide longer pain relief.

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