A facet joint block is an injection procedure of a numbing medicine into a singular or multiple joints placed along the side of each spinal disc on both parts of the spinal cord in the lower region of back
More than one injection is given, depending upon the involvement of the joints. Facet joint blocks are recommended for the patients who experience pain symptoms in their back as a consequence of arthritis and the deformity caused in the facet joints by arthritis the facet joint blocks are also helpful for the patients having involuntary lower back pain
A facet joint block can have multiple purpose, such as diagnosis and therapy, however, the procedure cannot perform in the case of active infections such as flu, cold, fever, very high blood pressure if the patient is on blood thinner
As with the facet joint block there is are some risks attached, it may include, bleeding, infection, nerve damage, or any allergic reactions to the medications injected, other side effects may appear if the local anesthetic has spread to the surrounding nerves which may cause weakness or numbness. If you experience any such symptoms you need to stay at the pain management clinic, for a few days you may have pain at the injection site
Will the injection hurt a lot?
For many people the burning sensation of the numbing medicine is non bearable and cause discomfort during the whole procedure, but it lasts within few seconds, though the responses for each patient differs
Most people say the stinging/burning of the numbing medicine is the most uncomfortable part of the procedure (this lasts only a few seconds); however, each person’s response to any procedure will differ.
What happens during the procedure?
The facet joint block process is done with the help of X-Ray guidance with the patient lying on the stomach, fluids and medications are given with the intravenous line through your arm to help you feel relaxed, the area to be treated is cleansed thoroughly with an antiseptic liquid,sterile drapes will be placed at the lower back the area will be numbed with local anesthetic given by injections with a very thin needle. You will experience a light burning sensation that will end up in almost 15 seconds. With the help of an x-ray longer needles are infused in the layers of the skin into the facet joints along the spinal cord,once the needle is placed into the correct position the medication with steroids or without steroids is injected into the facet joints and the needles are then taken out, the skin is cleaned again and band aid is applied, the patient is removed to the observation room and is observed for an hour, however you can drive home just after the procedure