Your doctor has recommended a Facet Joint Injection to help reduce and/or relieve your back pain. Common reasons for having this injection are facet pain which can be caused by arthritis in the joint spaces or spondylosis.
A facet joint is a small, flat surfaced area where two vertebrae fit together. When the joint spaces become arthritic it causes increased pain. It is common to suffer from a loss of ability of flexion (forward bending) and extension (backward bending) as well as a lateral twisting motion. This problem can affect your cervical, thoracic or lumbar spine.
The site of your injection or vertebral body level is predetermined from the information you have provided during your office visit regarding your pain. The spinal needle is directed into the facet joint of the spine. It is very common to have multiple levels injected during this procedure.
The needle tip is directed at each facet joint. A contrast agent, which allows the physician to verify his needle placement, is injected into each joint space. The anti-inflammatory is then injected to help decrease your pain.
Risks and Complications
Bleeding – this is very rare. We ask that you remain off of aspirin based products for at least 3-5 days prior to the injection. Also, if you are on any blood thinners (Coumadin, Plavix, etc.) you should not take these for approximately 5 days as well.
Infection – this is very rare. Keep an eye on the injection site(s) over the few days following the injection. If any redness, bleeding or seeping of fluids is noticed, please call the office and speak with a staff member immediately.
If you experience a fever, chills or extremity weakness, please call the office immediately.
You should notice immediate relief. If you notice at least 70% relief you are a good candidate for a longer lasting procedure that will follow this injection in the upcoming weeks. Your physician will discuss this possibility at your follow up office visit.
We will take excellent care of you here at Cincinnati Pain Physicians and it is our pleasure to treat you. Please DO NOT hesitate to call the office with any questions or concerns regarding your procedure appointment.