After your Lumbar Facet Joint Injection you will be monitored for approximately 15 – 30 minutes. The clinic will give you appropriate directions to follow for care following the procedure.
Post procedure soreness may be experienced. Typically this soreness is caused by muscle and nerve irritation. You may also notice some numbness and tingling into the leg and foot for a maximum of 4-6 hours.
There should be pain relief immediately lasting 4-6 hours. The corticosteroid takes about 1 week post injection for it to take optimal effects. Pain relief lasts anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the ultimate cause of your facet joint pain.
What is a Lumbar Facet Joint Injection?
This outpatient procedure is used to help with diagnosing and/or treating low back, buttock, hip and/or groin pain.
A thin needle is inserted near the facet joint under fluoroscopy (a type of x-ray). Fluoroscopy is used to position the needle. A small amount of dye is used by the Physician in order to assess if the needle is in the proper position. This can cause some of your symptoms to be reproduced.
With the correct needle position, the facet joint is then injected with a combination of a corticosteroid (anti-inflammatory) and a anesthetic into the irritated facet joint.
Do I have Lumbar Facet Joint Pain?
If you have pain in the low back, buttock, hip or groin area for greater than 2 months you may have lumbar facet joint pain.
Tests such as X-rays or MRIs do not always show if the facet is the reason for your pain. The best way to test if you have this pain is to block the pain signal from the medial branch nerves which sends the nerve signals from the facet joints to the brain.
What are Lumbar Facet Joints?
Facet joints are found on either side of the spine. Each of these joints is about the size of a thumbnail. There are typically 5 lumbar vertebrae that are connected by facet joints.
Facet joints connect vertebrae to one another along with guide the spine when moving.
Injury to a lumbar facet joint typically involves damage to cartilage inside the joint and the connecting ligaments surrounding the joint.
Pain from an injured lumbar facet joint may range from mild muscle tension to more severe pain. This pain can radiate into different areas, often buttock, depending on which facet joint is irritated.