Facet Joint Injections

The joints located between the bones that make up the spine and located opposite each other are called facet joints. These joints connect the vertebrae to each other and are united through cartilage, a soft structure. Facet joints, located opposite each other throughout the vertebrae, starting from the neck, provide mobility to the spine with their disc structures.

In lumbar disc herniation, pain occurs mostly when the patient leans forward, while in facet joint diseases, pain occurs in backward positions. Facet joint injection is applied to relieve pain caused by arthrosis, joint inflammation and various trauma-related diseases in this area.

Lumbar Facet Joint Injection​

  • If you have a systemic disorder along with your facet joint disease, you should definitely tell your doctor about it.
    If you are using blood thinners or anticoagulants, you should not use these medications for at least 4 days before the procedure.
    You should avoid solid and liquid food intake for at least 4 hours before facet joint injection.
    Since anesthesia will be applied during the procedure, you must have a companion with you. Additionally, since local numbing drugs will be given during the procedure, you may experience temporary numbness in the legs.
  • The patient is monitored. In this way, vital signs are taken under control.
    Before starting the procedure, a vascular access must be established as the patient will be administered various muscle relaxants or analgesic medications.
    Since the facet joint injection will take place in the operating room under sterile conditions, the patient is laid on the operating table and the application area is cleaned with sterile solutions and the necessary sterile drapes are used.
    The specialist physician who will perform the procedure inserts the needle to be used in the operation into the facet joint using the fluoroscopy technique.
    The area to be injected is anesthetized and numbed.
    Using imaging methods, the nerve of the facet joint is approached with electrodes.
    Various stimulations are given to the nerve from the electrodes to check whether it is in the appropriate localization.
    Contrast material is administered to check whether the needle enters the joint and whether the drug can be administered correctly.
    After completing the necessary verification procedures, narcotics and anti-inflammatory drugs are slowly sent into the joint with the help of a needle, using imaging methods.
    To provide nerve blockade in the facet joint, a combination of local anesthetic and steroids is used or radiofrequency thermocoagulation method is performed.
    All these procedures take at most 5 minutes and it takes approximately 30 minutes for the patient to fully wake up.
  • The patient is taken to the rest room to recover from the effects of anesthesia.
    The needle entry site is covered to take adequate sterile precautions.
    Facet joint injection is not a painful procedure, and after the operation is completed, the patient is administered various sedatives or painkillers.
    Although very rare, numbness may occur in the area where the procedure is performed and this effect disappears after approximately 2 hours.