Facet joints are located between each vertebra in the spine, and when they’re functioning correctly, they give the spine flexibility and stability. When facet joints become inflamed or arthritic, they can cause excruciating pain. Facet Joint Injections, also known as facet blocks, use an image-guided needle to inject a local anesthetic for immediate numbing, and an anti-inflammatory medication such as a corticosteroid to give longer-lasting pain relief.
Facet Injections are also helpful as diagnostic tools. Once a facet joint is numb, if the patient is pain-free, the radiologist can determine that particular joint is the sole source of pain, and where treatment plans should focus. If the patients experiences pain after a facet joint is numb, further tests may be needed to pinpoint all the sources of pain and deal with them.
Spinal Arthritis and facet syndrome can both be accurately diagnosed using Interventional Radiology (IR) techniques including facet injections, which provide better relief than oral or topical medications. In some cases, a patient might need an additional IR procedure to affect relief that lasts up to a year or longer in certain cases.
The Interventional Radiology specialists at Desert Medical Imaging will work with you to achieve the best relief possible for your pain, while pinpointing the causes, and evaluating a long term pain management plan that’s best for your overall health and wellness.
For more information on this and other radiology procedures, please visit www.radiologyinfo.org.