Facet joints are pairs of joints that are present down the length of the spine. They are similar to hip or knee joints in that they are made up of a joint capsule, a nerve supply, and articular cartilage. Like the other joints in the body, facet joints can become painful and inflamed. Two common causes of facet joint pain are lumbar facet joint syndrome and cervical facet joint syndrome. With the help of facet joint injections, physicians can deliver pain relief to patients suffering from conditions involving their facet joints.
Facet joint injections are a minimally invasive treatment, and are very effective in alleviating spinal pain. Once the injection site is under local anaesthesia, an X-Ray guided fluoroscopy is used to determine the precise location of the inflamed joint. The physician will then administer the injection directly to the joint. Most patients experience little to no discomfort during the procedure. The process usually takes about 10-15 minutes to perform, followed by a brief recovery period to monitor the patient before being discharged home. Physicians recommend resting immediately following the injection, but patients can typically return to normal activities the following day.
Unlike other types of spinal injections, facet joint injections are not typically carried out in a planned series. Patients typically return for follow-up injections about three months after a facet joint injection, or if pain returns. The physicians at Segura Neuroscience & Pain Center are trained in several forms of pain management therapy, including facet joint injections.