Intra-Articular Facet Joint Injection

A facet block is an injection of local anesthetic and/or steroids into the facet joints of the spine. These joints are true joints and can become arthritic over time. Degenerative changes in the lumbar facet joints have been established as a source of low back pain that may radiate to the leg. Similarly, degenerative changes in the cervical facet joints have been established as a common source of neck pain and may radiate to the head or arm depending on the level.

A small amount of local anesthetic and steroid may be deposited into a facet joint via a needle using live x-ray. By placing numbing medicine into the joint, the amount of immediate pain relief you experience will help confirm or deny the joint as a source of your pain. That is, if you obtain complete relief of your main pain while the facet joints are numb, then these joints are likely your pain source. Furthermore, time-release cortisone will be injected into these joints to reduce any presumed inflammation, which can, on many occasions, provide long-term pain relief.

To learn more about facet joint injections, contact us.