To identify whether the facet joint block is a source of pain or it is a means of a pain relief, Facet Block Procedure is performed. A lumbar facet joint block is an injection of local anesthesia into one or more of the small joints located along the side of each vertebra on both sides of the spine. The spine’s movement is guided by these joints.
How is it performed?
The steps include:
- It is done by inserting a long needle into the center of the facet joints.
- Meanwhile you will also be given some medicine to relax.
- With the help of a fluoroscope the doctor will watch whether the needle goes into the right facet joint or not.
- When it is confirmed that the needle is in the facet joint the doctor will insert a combination of anesthesia and cortisone into the joint.
A fluoroscope is n X-ray TV that allows the doctor to see the spine and the needle as it moves.
Who are the candidates?
People who are facing neck, arm, low back or neck pain (sciatica) stemming from inflammation then Facet injection is best for them. Facet injections may also be helpful for the joints that are caused by: Spinal stenosis, Spondylolysis, Sciatica, Herniated disc, Arthritis, postoperative pain.
How long it takes?
The entire procedure takes about 15 to 30 minutes.
Mostly patients can walks around immediately after the procedure. But it is helpful and a safety precaution that you are being monitored whenever you leave a place. Generally patients resume full activity from the next day. If soreness is experienced at the place of the injection then it can be relieved by applying ice on the area.
After the procedure, the pain will be relieved for several days to several months. The patient will surely get pain relief, if facet joints were purely the reason of pain.