Facet Blocks are used to determine sources of pain in facet joints. Facet Blocks are also used as a means of pain relief. Located along the spine, facet joints are the locations where vertebra overlap each other. These joints guide the movement of the spine.
Thoracic facet injections are used to treat pain in the thoracic facet joints in the upper spine. This pain is usually felt in the upper back, chest, and rarely in the arms.
During the Procedure
The physician will first administer local anesthetic. The facet block is conducted by the insertion of a needle into the location of a facet joint. The doctor injects a contrast dye, allowing the joint to be visible through a fluoroscope. Once the doctor us sure that the needle is correctly placed, an anti-inflammatory injection is administered. Patients may be offered sedation for comfort.
Who needs this procedure?
Patients with neck pain, lower back pain, or leg pain as a symptom of inflammation or arthritis of the facet joints may benefit from Facet Block injections.
How long does it take?
The process usually takes between 15-30 minutes to complete.
After the Procedure
Most patients can walk immediately after the injection. The patient may be monitored for a short period of time before leaving the clinic, and are expected to rest for the remainder of the day.
If the facet joints are determined to be the cause of pain, the patient will likely be relieved of their pain. The relief can last any time between a few hours to several months. Additional treatment may be required for longer relief.