You suffer from pain in your back and legs. This pain is possibly caused by one or more aggravated facet joints in the spinal column. To relieve this pain your medical practitioner has proposed an injection into the facet joint. This page further outlines what this treatment entails.
THE FACET JOINT
Facet joints are the small joints located behind the vertebrae that allow for the bending, stretching, turning and sideways movement of the spinal column. These joints are covered with cartilage and have a joint capsule.
Upon facet joint aggravation the medical practitioner can administer an injection into the joint. The treatment can have two objectives:
With the injection the medical practitioner wants to see whether the aggravated facet joint is the cause of your painful symptoms. The effect of the injection is temporary, which means that the injection temporarily eliminates the source of pain.
If it is clear that the painful symptoms derive from the facet joint, the medical practitioner can try to lessen the aggravation with an injection of corticosteroids. This will relieve the pain, which in turn will help you do the exercises necessary for improving the joint’s function.
You lie on your front on the treatment table. First the medical practitioner will disinfect your skin where the injection will be administered. Under x-ray control the medical practitioner inserts a thin needle into the joint. Next they inject some contrast agent (Omnipaque) to see if the needle is positioned correctly in the joint. Next you will be injected with a mix of a local anaesthetic (Xylocaine 2%) and a corticosteroid (Decadron® 10 mg). This procedure is repeated in all aggravated facet joints.
Although injecting each facet joint only takes a matter of minutes; the entire treatment lasts around 15 minutes.
For further information about potential side effects and risks, and for other instructions we kindly ask you to read through the “your visit” and “after your treatment” information provided to you.