Facet Joint Injection

If you suffer from back pain, you know that it can be very difficult to accurately diagnose and treat. At least 80% of people suffer from back pain at some point in their lives and Americans spend upwards of $50 billion per year on diagnosing and treating back pain.

Piedmont providers employ a variety of diagnostic procedures to identify the precise source of the pain so effective treatment can be administered. One such diagnostic procedure is a facet joint injection. The facet joints, found on both sides of the back of the spine, can become painfully irritated or inflamed. A facet joint injection may help diagnose the source of a patient's pain. It can also relieve pain and inflammation.


Although each patient experience is unique, here is a general outline of what to expect with a facet joint injection:

Skin Numbed

In preparation for the procedure, the physician numbs the skin and tissue above the facet joint with an injection of local anesthetic.

Placement Confirmed

With the aid of an x-ray device called a fluoroscope, the physician guides a needle through the numbed tissue and into the facet joint. Contrast dye is injected into the joint to confirm the needle's placement.

Medication Injected

Once the needle is positioned properly, the physician injects a soothing mixture of numbing anesthetic and anti-inflammatory steroid medication. One or more facet joints may be treated. If this causes the pain to subside, it suggests that the facet joint (or joints) injected were the cause of pain.

End of Procedure

Back or neck pain may disappear immediately after a successful injection because of the anesthetic that is administered. As this anesthetic wears off, pain may return. The steroid will begin to take effect in the days after the injection. The steroid will reduce inflammation and pain. The injection can provide relief for a span ranging from several days to several months. Up to three injections may be given per year.

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Interested in learning more about non-surgical pain relief?

If you would like to learn more about procedures like facet joint injections, schedule a consult with our spine team. Click here or give us a call at (478) 474-2114 to get started.