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Facet Joint injection

What Is Facet Joint Injection?

Facet Joint injectionA lumbar facet injection is a minimally invasive procedure carried out to reduce inflammation and debilitating caused by a damaged facet joint. Facet joints are located in your spine; they help connect your backbones together.

The primary function of these joints is that they provide your spine with mobility to twist or bend. Between the facet joints, there’s cartilage, which contains synovial fluid, encouraging a smooth and gliding motion for your spine.

As soon as these joints become damaged, movement is restricted creating a condition known as Facet Syndrome. This often arises as a result of overuse, injury, or onset of inflammation. At Pro Spine & Pain, our highly experienced board-licensed anesthesiologists and pain management specialists help alleviate pain and inflammation with facet joint injections.

In a 20-minute procedure, you’ll be injected with a local anesthetic and corticosteroid into your injured joint. This injection is relatively painless and starts to take effect in just 72 hours, lasting up to 12 months, based on your condition.

To know more about this injection, book an appointment at Pro Spine & Pain.

Conditions and Symptoms Treated With Facet Joint Injections

Before having any joint injection at Pro Spine & Pain, our specialists diligently take you through a comprehensive consultation. In this appointment, they’ll review your medical history, symptoms, and concerns.

If you have the following conditions or symptoms, they may refer you for imaging and a potential injection:

Facet joint injections are not a cure to treat facet joint pain; instead, they are only a form of temporary relief. Sometimes, underlying conditions may need to be addressed, which often require further interventions such as medications, physical therapy, or even surgery.

How Are Facet Injections Given?

Before having a facet joint injection, you’ll need to have a consultation with one of our spine specialists. Using a collaborative approach, they’ll review your symptoms and medical history, conduct an examination, and run advanced diagnostic imaging.

If they decide an injection is the best course of treatment, they’ll brief you about the procedure. Usually, this takes 20-30 minutes, and you’ll be discharged home the same day.

If you are to have the injection, they’ll typically undergo the following procedure:

  1. You’ll be laid face down on an examination table
  2. Your skin will be then cleaned, and you’ll be given a local anesthetic to ensure you feel no pain
  3. Then, they’ll use a fluoroscopy (a live x-ray) for guidance and insert a thin needle in your skin into your facet joint.
  4. Next, they’ll inject a contrast tye to ensure the needle’s in the correct location
  5. Then, a mixture of local anesthetic and corticosteroids to reduce inflammation
  6. They’ll then remove the needle

After the procedure, you’ll be kept in for a short observation period to ensure no adverse reactions. Always follow your doctor’s aftercare advice and have someone drive you home after the procedure. You should be able to return to your daily routine the day following the surgery.


How Long Does a Facet Injection Last?

A facet joint injection can provide relief for up to 3-12 months. However, it depends on your lifestyle and condition. Once they've worn off, they can be repeated.

Can I Walk After the Joint Injection?

After your injection, it's normal to experience some temporary numbness in your legs, which wears off in a couple of hours. If you struggle to walk, you may have to be kept in for observation for slightly longer.

How Painful Are Facet Injections?

A cervical facet joint injection is a relatively painless and minimally invasive procedure. You'll likely feel a pinch of pain when the local anesthetic is administered, which will disappear after 15 seconds.

Updated on Apr 23, 2024 by Dr. Thomas Stauss (Pain Management) of Pro Spine & Pain

Thomas Stauss, MD

Thomas Stauss, MD, completed both his undergraduate and medical studies at the esteemed University of Wisconsin in Madison. Dr. Stauss values having access to a wide array of cutting-edge treatment options, ensuring effective relief for his patients' discomfort and a significant enhancement in their quality of life. More specifically, he specializes in utilizing implanted devices to manage chronic pain. Dr. Stauss’s primary objective is to uphold the dignity of each patient while delivering ethical and professional services.

More about Dr. Stauss