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Minimally Invasive Pain Institute

Pain Management Procedures

Facet Joint Injections

Overview
Facet joint injections can be performed at any point along the spine. The facet joint injections are used to block or decrease pain caused by problems in the spine. Facet joints are located at the posterior (back) of the spine. The joints are similar to hinges and connect the vertebrae together. Each vertebra has two pairs of facet joints, one on each side (left and rear). One pair of the facet joints face upward (superior articular facet) and the other pair faces downward (inferior articular facet).

Procedure
Facet joint injections are done in our office.  The injection site is cleansed thoroughly using sterile solution. A local anesthetic is administered first. Then, a radio-opaque dye is injected to confirm that the Doctor has placed the needle in the correct position. The radio-opaque dye is detected by the fluoroscopy machine. Once that is completed, a mixture of numbing medication and an anti-inflammatory agent (corticosteroid) is administered into the inflamed facet joint using a hypodermic syringe.

How does it Work?
The steroid is used to reduce the inflammation and/or swelling of the nerves in the epidural space, to therefore reduce pain, tingling, and numbness and other symptoms caused by nerve inflammation, irritation, or swelling. Pain relief occurs when the corticosteroid is administered in the correct level.

After the Procedure
You may experience some weakness or numbness in your limbs for a few hours after the procedure. You will not be able to drive for the remainder of the day following a selective nerve root block. It is best to have someone else drive you home and accompany you to your home. This person should also be available to you should you require assistance at any time during the day after your procedure. Depending on how you feel, you may be able to resume normal activities and return to work the following day.

For a better understanding of interventional pain treatment services, contact the healthcare professionals at Minimally Invasive Pain Institute.  They can help customize a treatment for you and your acute or chronic pain condition. To find out if you are a good candidate, or for more information on this and other pain treatment services, read on or contact our pain management center.  Together, we’ll help you find the relief you need for the quality of life you deserve.