What You Need to Know About Facet Injections

Car accidents resulting in serious injuries occur every day in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Treatments for injuries from motor vehicle accidents can vary widely. While one car wreck victim might resolve their pain through chiropractic treatment, the same might not be said for another. If you have been injured in a collision and have been referred to a pain management specialist, it is possible that your treatment will include injections to provide pain relief.

What are Facet Joints?

A possible cause of neck or back pain could be from inflamed facet joints (pronounced fu-set). Each vertebra in the spine is connected to the vertebra above it and below it by facet joints, which are located on both sides of the rear of the spine. A cervical (neck), thoracic (upper back) or lumbar (lower back) facet joint injection involves injecting a steroid medication, which can anesthetize the facet joints and block the pain. 

Along with the numbing medication, a facet joint injection also includes injecting time-release cortisone into the facet joints to reduce inflammation, which can often provide long term pain relief. The procedure may also be called a facet block since its purpose is to block the pain.  

Facet Injections: Common Questions

Who Is a Candidate for Facet Injections?

If you have neck, arm, low back, or leg pain (sciatica) deriving from inflammation of the facet joints, you might experience relief from a facet injection.  Usually, it is recommended for those who fail to react to other conservative treatments, such as oral anti-inflammatory medication, rest, back braces or physical therapy.  Facet injections may also be used to help diagnose the cause and location of pain, in addition to providing relief.  They may be helpful in treating inflamed facet joints caused by spinal stenosis, spondylolysis, sciatica, herniated disc, arthritis, and postoperative pain.

Who Shouldn’t Have Facet Injections?

Facet injections should NOT be performed on people who have an infection, are pregnant, or on people who have bleeding problems. In addition, it may slightly elevate the blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes and may also temporarily elevate blood pressure.

Why Do People Choose Facet Injections?

With few risks, facet injections are considered an appropriate nonsurgical treatment for some patients. A large percentage of the patients who go through a facet injection treatment experience relief and often engage in physical activity in no time. If the process is successful for a patient can receive follow-up injections. If you have any questions about facet joints and facet injections, contacting a doctor would be an excellent choice.

Need a Second Opinion? 

If you have been hurt in an auto accident or otherwise as a result of someone else’s negligence and have questions about your medical care and expenses, you can take advantage of the free consultation offered by Mark A. Anderson, Board Certified Personal Injury Lawyer. Feel free to call us or fill out a contact form with your specific situation.