Facet Joint Injection

Facet joint injections help diagnose the cause and location of pain while providing pain relief in the spine joints. Facet joint injections involves injecting a small amount of local anesthetic (numbing solution) and/or steroid medication, which can help block pain from reaching the brain.

The procedure is relatively simple and takes between 30-60 minutes to administer and recover. It is performed without any sedation in a physician’s office or ambulatory surgical center. The doctor numbs a small area of skin and then uses x-ray guidance to direct the needle into the facet joint. A small amount of dye is administered to confirm accurate placement before injecting a small mixture of numbing anesthetic and anti-inflammatory medication.

Facet join injections have risks and side effects including: elevated blood sugars, rashes, itching, weight gain, extra energy, soreness at the site of the injection, bleeding and in rare cases, death. Since the injection is outside the spine, there is minimal to no risk of a wet tap (spinal fluid leakage).