During the injection of general anesthesia, you may feel a pinch and some slight burning as it takes effect. It should not, however, produce excruciating discomfort. The facet joint injection should be painless because the region will be numbed. You will most likely feel some pressure near the injection site. After the pain medication wears off, you may experience discomfort around the injection site for a few days. Additionally, Garen Gajian MD may prescribe a pain reliever if you have significant pain.
An overview of facet joint injection
A facet joint injection is a technique that involves injecting pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory drugs into your facet joints to relieve discomfort. Facet joints are tiny joints running down the back of your spine between each vertebra. Wear and strain from years of usage and catastrophic traumas can cause discomfort in these joints. Many people report feeling better for months after having an injection. Furthermore, the operation is painless and has a low risk of consequences.
When are facet joint injections used?
Facet joint injections in your lower back or lumbar area are usually helpful when the pain is in your lower back and radiates down your lower back and onto the back of your upper thighs and buttocks. Bending backward or standing aggravates lumbar facet joint discomfort. The discomfort is usually in your neck if you have facet joint pain in the neck or cervical area. It spreads gently across the shoulders and neck. Also, it worsens when you look up or tilt your head from side to side.
The procedure of facet joint injection
A facet joint injection is a minor operation that generally takes less than 30 minutes. Because it is an outpatient operation, you can go home the same day. You will be awake during the treatment, although sedation may be administered through an IV in your hand or arm. Here is an idea of what to expect:
- You will lie face down on a table throughout the treatment and may be attached to equipment monitoring your vitals.
- To avoid contamination, your skin will be sterilized around the injection site and covered with a drape.
- Your surgeon will numb the region by injecting a local anesthetic into it with a needle.
- Your surgeon will implant the facet joint injection through your skin and into your joint using fluoroscopy (a type of real-time X-ray) or a CT scan as a guide. Also, a contrast dye may be injected to ensure the needle is in your joint.
- Your clinician will then inject the steroid and pain reliever into your joint.
- Finally, the needle will be removed, and pressure will be used to stop the bleeding. Also, no stitches are necessary.
A facet joint injection relieves discomfort in the tiny joints between your vertebrae at the back of your spine. It is a minimally invasive technique that might alleviate back or neck discomfort for months. Your doctor can advise you on whether a facet joint injection may be able to relieve your pain. They may also suggest alternative therapies to address your problems. Call Pain & Anesthesia Care or book your appointment online to learn more about various facet joint injection procedures right for you.