Facet Joint Block Injections
A facet joint block is the injection of a local anesthetic medication into or next to the facet joint. In most cases, a corticosteroid is injected.
Facet joint blocks are very simple and safe procedures. They are done under x-ray guidance and with the patient under light sedation. Patients are generally released after 1-2 hours after receiving facet block injections.
What Purposes does a Facet Joint Block serve?
A facet block serves two purposes: diagnosis and treatment. If the patient receives 50% or greater pain relief for at least 2 hours after a facet block injection, it is likely that the facet joint is a source of the patient’s pain, as may happen with arthritis or injury. After the diagnosis is confirmed with repeat injections, the facet block is then used to reduce pain through the use of corticosteroids.