Facet Joint Injections

Facet joint injections are both a minimally invasive treatment for back pain caused by inflamed facet joints, and a diagnostic tool for determining whether facet-joint inflammation is a source of pain. Four facet joints connect each vertebra to the vertebra above and below it. A facet joint injection, administered into either the joint capsule or its surrounding tissue, combines a long-lasting steroid and a local anesthetic.

Although the anesthetic provides only temporary pain relief, the steroid reduces inflammation, and can relieve pain for anywhere from a few days to a few years. Lasting pain relief is diagnostically significant because it confirms that the pain originated in the joint that received the injection.

Facet-joint injections can be repeated up to 3 times a year for those who have successful but short-term pain relief.

facet joint injectionsProcedure

Our experienced team of spine specialists utilizes fluoroscopic guidance to accurately administer facet joint injections, ensuring optimal placement of the medication for maximum effectiveness. The injected medication typically includes a combination of corticosteroids and local anesthetics, which work together to reduce inflammation and block pain signals from the affected joints.

Key Benefits of Facet Joint Injections:

  1. Targeted Pain Relief: Facet joint injections deliver medication directly to the source of pain, providing targeted relief for individuals suffering from facet joint-related issues.
  2. Minimally Invasive: Facet joint injections are performed on an outpatient basis and involve minimal discomfort, allowing for a quick recovery and return to daily activities.
  3. Diagnostic Value: In addition to providing pain relief, facet joint injections can also serve as a diagnostic tool to help identify the specific facet joints causing your symptoms, guiding further treatment decisions.
  4. Improved Functionality: By reducing pain and inflammation in the facet joints, injections can help improve your range of motion and overall functionality, allowing you to enjoy a better quality of life.

Is a Facet Joint Injection Right for You?

Patients with back pain (or pain thought to originate in the back) are candidates for facet-joint injections. Facet-joint pain can be the result of injury, spinal stenosis, sciatica or osteoarthritis. Although pain typically appears in the lumbar region, it can occur anywhere in the spine. When facet joints are inflamed, depending on the location of the inflammation, pain can be experienced in the following regions:

  • Groin
  • Buttocks
  • Hips
  • Shoulders or neck
  • Legs or arms

Facet joint injections are often recommended after anti-inflammatory medication, a back brace or other conservative methods have failed to alleviate symptoms. A patient who is pregnant, has an infection, or suffers from a chronic bleeding disorder is not a candidate for facet-joint injections.

If you’re experiencing chronic back pain attributed to facet joint issues, a facet joint injection may be a beneficial treatment option for you. Our team of spine specialists will evaluate your medical history and symptoms to determine if this procedure is appropriate for your condition.

Schedule a consultation with us to learn more about facet joint injections and how they can help you find the relief you deserve. At Atlantic Brain and Spine, we’re committed to providing compassionate care and effective solutions to help you live your best life, free from spine-related discomfort.

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