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FACET JOINT INJECTIONS 

 

CHRONIC PAIN RELIEF DOCTOR

Chronic Pain Treatment

The Pain Relief Center in Plano, Texas offers facet joint injections for persistent, chronic pain treatment.  Call us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.

 

What is a Facet Joint Injection?

A facet joint injection is a useful diagnostic tool as well as a therapeutic treatment. It is a very simple procedure and can provide months of pain relief. Facet joint injections are essentially nerve blocks that are done with the use of fluoroscopy (a specialized x-ray) to decrease pain and inflammation (or to confirm a diagnosis).They work by administering an anti-inflammatory steroid and anesthetic directly into the facet joint (located along the spinal column) and by soothing inflammation and reducing swelling in and around the facet joint space.

How is it done?

Facet joint injections are performed with the assistance of live X-ray technology (fluoroscopy) to guide the needle into the proper position. Local anesthetic is given; the needle is inserted into the epidural space of the cervical, thoracic, lumbar or caudal spine. An anesthetic and steroid are then injected into the site and a small mixture of anti-inflammatory medication mixed with anesthetic will also be injected into the facet joint.

What should I expect?

Following the procedure, the patient will remain in the resting area for a short period of 15-30 minutes. Then, the patient will be instructed to perform some simple activities and movements that would usually result in pain. Most will experience immediate pain relief due to the numbing effect of the anesthetic. You may be sore for a day or so, as the steroids most often take 2-3 days to become effective.

How long will it take?

Fifteen to thirty minutes plus recovery time. Most often you can go home in about 30-60 min. You will need someone to drive you home and care for you for the first 12 hours after your procedure. Written instructions will be sent home with you.

What should I expect the day of the procedure?

You are expected to arrive at the surgery center at least one hour before your procedure is scheduled. Bring a responsible adult driver with you because you will be receiving medications and this could impair your ability to drive. Do not eat or drink anything for 6 hours prior to your procedure. Please take your regularly scheduled blood pressure and heart medications with a sip of water as you normally would. If you have diabetes, take 1/2 of your normal dosage and bring your insulin with you. After you arrive, you will be asked to sign in and complete any paperwork as needed. You will then be taken to the PreOp area. At this time, a nurse will ask you some questions and have you sign your consent forms. It is imperative that you, the patient, inform the nurse of any changes in your history and/or physical, such as a recent flu or have any health problems that might affect your procedure. Inform the staff if you are allergic to betadine. You will then be asked to change and then you will be assisted to the PreOp room or to a stretcher where your blood pressure, heart rate, temperature and oxygen saturation will be done. An IV will be started (if ordered by your physician). Your belongings will be put away in a cabinet. The anesthetist will talk to you before your procedure. You will then be prepped and positioned. The physician will perform the procedure. You may be given medication before and/or during your procedure to help you relax. You may doze off during this time. Afterwards, the nurse will cleanse off the prepping solution and apply the dressings/bandages as needed. You will be transported to the recovery room area where you will be monitored anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. When you are awake enough, you will be offered beverages and some crackers. After this, someone will take your IV out and help you get dressed. Lastly, your caretaker will be given discharge instructions for your care at home.

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