Facet Injections

Facet Joint Syndrome

Facet joint syndrome involves a pain that affects a joint found between the spine’s vertebrae. These joints allow bending, twisting and flexibility. You may experience the following symptoms:

  • lumbar and cervical facet joint pain,
  • lower back pain, along with discomfort,
  • inflammation and tenderness around the affected area

What are Facet Injections?

Found on either sides of the rear of the spinal cord are the facet joints. These joints can become inflamed and become incredibly painful. A facet joint injection can be administered by a physician to help diagnose the origin of the patient’s discomfort, the procedure can also help alleviate pain and inflammation.

What does the procedure look like?

Commonly, the procedure is performed without any sedation at Portland Pain & Spine, however, an IV line can be started if relaxation medicine is needed. The patient lies on a procedure table, and the skin over the area to be tested is well cleansed.

The physician treats a small area of skin with numbing medicine (anesthetic), which may sting for a few seconds. The physician uses X-ray guidance (fluoroscopy) to direct a very small needle into the facet joint.

A small amount of contrast dye is then injected to confirm that the needle is in the joint and that medication is contained inside the joint. Following this confirmation, a small mixture of anesthetic (such as lidocaine) and anti-inflammatory medication (steroid/cortisone) is then slowly injected into the joint.

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