Non-Operative Spine – Facet Joint Blocks
This procedure is used to determine if any of the facet joints, the joints between vertebrae, are damaged and causing pain. Two facet joints per vertebra are located on either side of the spine to provide flexibility that allows patients to bend and move. Facet joint blocks are injections of local anesthetic into a particular joint to assess if pain is numbed, and if the pain returns when the medication wears off.
- Traumatic injury
- A needle is inserted into the joint using x-ray guidance
- A mixture of local anesthetic and anti-inflammatory steroids are injected
- Nerve activity in one or more joints is blocked
- Evaluation of pain while medication is active, and after it wears off