Facet joints are located in the human spine securing one vertebral body to another through a fibrous connection.  Facet joints make up the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine.  These joints allow your spine the ability to bend and twist.  Healthy facet joints have cartilage, which allows your vertebrae to move against each other without grinding.  As we age, that cartilage can break down and the joints become arthritic.  The arthritic changes may cause an individual to experience pain in the spine.  Facet injections are designed to alleviate pain in the spine caused by arthritic facet joints.

Prior to a facet injection, the injection site is prepped in a sterile fashion and local anesthetic is administered.  A small gauge spinal needle is then advanced into the facet joint under x-ray guidance. When in the joint, contrast is injected to confirm placement. Once confirmed, steroids are then injected into the facet joint. The surgical site is then wiped clean and a Band-Aid is applied.  The patient is placed in a comfortable post procedure area and monitored for a short time. The patient is then released to go home with post procedure instructions.  Quite often, multiple facets are injected during one visit and possibly on both sides of the spine.