Facet Joint Injections
What is the facet joint?
Facet joints are small linking joints that connect the bones of the spine, also known as vertebrae. They are responsible for controlling the twisting and sideways movements of the whole back and are located on each side of the spine.
How are they treated?
A facet joint injection may reduce your pain temporarily. However this is not a cure. Steroid and a local anaesthetic, (which are prepared) are injected, which may reduce inflammation and pain.
Possible Side Effects
There can be possible side effects. For example:
• There may be some pain and bruising at the needle site.
• You may feel a little unsteady when you first stand.
• The injections may make your pain worse. This should resolve within one month.
• There is a small risk of infection at the site of the injections.
• You may experience some leg weakness or numbness, which should resolve over a few hours.
You must not drive for 24 hours following the procedure. So please arrange for someone to drive you home. In addition, please can you have someone who can stay at home with you until the following day.
There may be an immediate improvement but this can be delayed for a few days. Sometimes there may actually be a slight increase in pain for 24 to 48 hours. Steroids work slowly, so even if the injections have worked well, nothing may seem to happen for several days.