A facet joint injection is a relatively simple, straightforward procedure, and is usually performed in an office based procedure suite or in an ambulatory surgical center.
As with many spinal injections, facet joint injections are best performed using fluoroscopy (live X-ray) for guidance to properly target and place the needle (and to help avoid nerve injury or other injury).
The injection procedure includes the following steps:
The injection itself only takes a few minutes, but the entire procedure usually takes between fifteen and thirty minutes.
On the day of the injection, patients are typically advised as follows:
Patients may notice a slight increase in pain lasting for several days as the numbing medicine wears off and before the cortisone starts to take effect.
In the week following the injection, common recommendations include:
When the pain is improved, it is advisable to start regular exercise and activities in moderation. Even if the pain relief is significant, it is still important to increase activities gradually over one to two weeks to avoid recurrence of pain.