What Are Facet Injections?
Facet injections provide medication to the facet joints. Facet joints are situated in between the vertebrae starting from the neck all the way to the tailbone. These joints make it possible for the vertebra to move against each other.
The injections are minimally invasive and are not only used for treatment purposes but diagnostic as well. When it comes to diagnosis, facet injections can help to identify if pain is resulting from certain joints in the spine.
With treatment, they can be used to relieve pain and inflammation that is caused by various spinal conditions. Facet injections may provide temporary relief for months at a time when administered by an Arizona workmans compensation doctor.
How Long Does The Injection Take and What Is In It?
The injections usually take less than half an hour and contain a mixture of steroids and local anesthesia.
Is The Injection Painful?
Yes, there is some mild pain involved as the needle is inserted through the skin to deeper tissues. However, this pain is numbed with anesthesia and the numbing medication is inserted using a thin needle. Many patients ask for intravenous sedation as this makes the procedure more tolerable.
What Is The Procedure for Facet Injections?
There are different types of facet injections and though the process is pretty much the same, the lying position may differ. For facet injections, you will be asked to lie on your stomach.
Patients are monitored using a blood pressure cuff, blood oxygen monitoring device and an EKG. The puncture area is cleaned with an antiseptic before the injection is carried out. A few injections can be administered in one visit into various facet joints. The injections at Arizona IMA are administered by a Double Board Certified Phoenix workmans compensation doctor.
How Do I Prepare for Treatment?
If you are under medication such as blood thinning medication or anti-inflammatory drugs, your doctor will advise you stop taking the medication a few days before the procedure. This is an outpatient procedure and you need to organize for transportation from hospital since you may not be in a position to drive especially if you have been given a local anesthesia.
How Effective Are Facet Injections?
These injections tend to be more effective in conditions whose pain is related to inflammation or facet arthritis. About 75%of all patients who are administered with facet injections enjoy some pain relief for weeks to months at a time.
How Many Injections Do I Need?
You only need one injection for a facet joint at a time. They can be repeated every few months. When it comes to multiple injections into different facet joints, usually three are administered with a maximum of four being conducted at the same time.
If the injections are effective, you can undergo this procedure for about three times a year. If the injections have produced good results, you could be considered for facet rhizotomy which is a procedure that destroys the nerve fibers that are responsible for the pain.