What might you need a facet joint injection?
If you have consistent back or neck pain and you are unaware of where this pain originates from, you may be recommended a facet joint injection. The purpose of this procedure is to determine whether the pain you are experiencing originates from your facet joints. The facet joints are small joints that connect your spinal bones. The injection may help to relive pain, in which case your facet joints would be deemed the source of the pain.
This procedure is a day case and doesn’t take long. The doctor will clean the area of injection as you lie on your front. You will have local anaesthetic so that the area is numbed to any pain. The surgeon will guide the injection to the facet joints in the affected area using imaging equipment (such as x-ray/CT) to help them find the correct spot. The injection only takes a few minutes but with the use of imaging equipment the procedure can take up to half an hour.
How to prepare for a facet joint injection
Before the surgery we will make sure you feel as comfortable as possible. We will talk you through what will happen in your surgery, along with the risks and benefits. Your doctor will tell you which medicines you should either stop taking, or take, in the days leading up to the surgery.
You will also be instructed regarding eating or drinking prior to the surgery. You will have time to ask as many questions as you like to your surgeon on the day. We will give you access to our OneWelbeck app so that you are familiar with our site and your doctor before even arriving.
Risks with facet joint injections
Generally the most common side effect from the procedure is discomfort in the affected area and numbness. These side affects should clear up. Other more general complications could include:
Recovery from facet joint injections
Once we’re sure that you are okay to leave after assessing for side effects, you will be able to go home. It is possible that you may experience numbness in your back or weakness in standing up. This should pass fairly quickly, but it is best to have someone with you to make sure you get home safely.