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A Facet Joint Injection is a procedure that contains a numbing medication to help determine if the facet joint of two specific vertebrae are the source of chronic pain.


What are facet joints?

A facet joint is the contact point between two vertebrae that provides stability to the spine. They are located at every level of the spine - one on each side.

Facet joints have a fluid filled capsule to reduce friction and cartilage, and are approximately the size of a thumbnail.

Arthritis and spinal injuries are the most common causes of facet joint pain. They can damage the facet joints and can become quite painful.


What conditions can Facet Joint Injections treat?

Facet Joint Injections are generally used to treat conditions of the spine related to the facet joints that cause a person to experience chronic neck pain or back pain, such as arthritis and spinal injuries.


What can I expect from a Facet Joint Injection?

More than 75% of individuals gain some back and/or neck pain relief from a facet joint injection.

These injections are minimally invasive, with a very low risk of patients experiencing any negative results.


How long can the Facet Joint Injection help?

Patients experience pain relief from a facet joint injection differently, due to their health history, current medications, etc.

Many patients experience pain relief while they are receiving the injection due to the local anesthetic, but this temporary side effect wears off in a few hours.

It can take several days for the steroid medication to begin working. Studies have shown that more than 75% of patients treated with facet injections experience satisfactory pain relief in either the back or neck.

And while your pain may require multiple injections before the maximum benefit is reached, many patients report pain relief lasting for several months.


What side effects or risks are possible with Facet Joint Injections?

Side effects and risks are very minimal. Mild bruising, swelling, or a few drops of blood may appear after a facet injection. While rare, it's possible that an infection could occur at the injection site.  In extremely rare cases, damage to tissue or nerve from the steroid is possible.


Bottom line

Facet Joint Injections may help relieve your pain if you suffer from chronic back or neck pain due to arthritis. Speak with our Baltimore pain management doctors today to see if Facet Joint Injections are right for you.

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