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A facet joint block is a minimally-invasive procedure that involves an injection of local anesthetic to numb a facet joint and provide pain relief. The pain doctor uses fluoroscopy, a special X-ray or CT to guide the needle to the facet joint. This procedure may be therapeutic or diagnostic.
Facet joints are connections between the bones of the spine that allow the spine to move and twist and also provide stability and support for the spine. These joints may become painful or inflamed due to injury or conditions such as arthritis.
You will lie on your stomach with a pillow placed underneath your abdomen. The skin on your back will be cleansed with an antiseptic and numbed before the injection. Your doctor will use an x-ray to identify the facet joints that need to be injected. A small amount of contrast dye may be used to make sure that the medication is inside the joint. Then, a mixture of anesthetic and steroid will be injected into the joint. Pressure will be applied to the area to prevent any bleeding and the injection site will be covered with a bandage.
It is normal to feel pain after the anesthetic wears off. The full effects of lumbar joint block may take 2 days to 2 weeks to kick in and the lasting effects may differ from one patient to another. The injection site may feel sore but should get better after a few days.
A lumbar facet joint block may be the right pain treatment for you if you have chronic [lower back pain]. This treatment may not be suitable for you if you have an active infection, flu, cold, fever, very high blood pressure or is taking blood thinners.
To learn more about lumbar facet joint block, call our office at 310-954-1513 to schedule an appointment with our pain doctor. Torrance Pain Institute offers lumbar facet joint block for patients in Torrance, El Segundo, surrounding areas.