Facet joint injection can temporarily relieve chronic pain associated with the facet joints, the parts of your spine that allow you to bend and twist. Facet joint injection may help in cases of chronic pain in the low back, arms, neck, or legs caused by spinal stenosis, sciatica, spondylosis, a herniated disc, arthritis, or surgery.
What does it involve?
Facet joint injection is an outpatient procedure.
Each vertebra has four facet joints. In an office or clinic setting, the doctor injects a combination of a long-lasting corticosteroid such as triamcinolone or betamethasone and a local anesthetic directly into the facet joint.
After facet joint injection, you can begin a program of physical therapy to promote long-term pain relief.
You can leave the office after receiving the facet joint injection. You should rest that day, and you can resume normal activity the following day.
Facet joint injection may provide pain relief for days or years. About 50 percent of people who receive a facet joint injection experience benefits.
A facet joint injection injection may not be successful at reducing pain.
You may need to receive a second facet joint injection to experience benefits.
Risks associated with facet joint injection include headaches, bleeding, and rarely, allergic reactions, infections, or paralysis. Corticosteroids can cause side effects including weight gain, mood changes, hot flashes, insomnia, swelling, and raised blood sugar.