Your Facet Joints are what make up your spine and allow you to be flexible.
Facet joints make bending and twisting possible otherwise you would be stiff and straight with your movements.
After careful diagnosis, if the facet joints are found to be the source of your pain, a nerve block can relieve your pain. A facet nerve block is the injection of a local anesthetic to block the nerves that transmit pain from your inflamed facet joints.
For this procedure, you will be placed on a procedure table where your physician will use live x-ray known as fluoroscopy to guide him or her with injecting the correct location.
The injection site will be cleaned with iodine or chlorhexidine to help prevent infection.
When the needle is at the right facet nerve, a local anesthetic will be injected to numb the area.
If the pain goes away, that means your facet joint is the root cause of your pain symptoms. This procedure may be done over and over to target several facet joints.
Here is a video to show you what the facet joint injection would be like.
In preparation for a facet joint nerve block, you may decide to have an IV sedation to avoid pain.
By doing this, your success rate is better and faster because you are able to remain perfectly still throughout the procedure.
Drinking and eating will not be allowed within six hours of your procedure and no clear liquids within 2 hours of your procedure.
Please Note: If you have diabetes, you will need to talk with your primary care physician or endocrinologist about adjusting your medication for this procedure.
After your procedure, you will not be able to drive for 24 hours so you will need a driver to take you home.
You will be able to eat and drink immediately after the procedure.
Return to your regular activity including those that would usually cause pain. It should not hurt several hours after the injections.
Please do not overdo it with strenuous activities for the first 24 hours.
You can shower after the procedure, but for 24 hours you can not take a bath, swim or get in a hot tub.
If you experience intense pain, swelling, redness, bladder or bowel dysfunction, fever or chills call our Ocala office immediately.
The main advantage of having this procedure is to reduce/eliminate your chronic pain without resorting to surgery. It also reduces inflammation, helps you tolerate physical therapy, and confirms the cause of your pain.
Common risks include infection, bleeding, nerve injury, and in extremely rare situations death.
Be sure to tell your physician about any medical issues or allergies before any procedure.
There have been several studies on this procedure and here is one of the outcomes, “Success was defined as at least 50% pain reduction 7–21 days, 6 months and 1 year after RF therapy”.
Florida Spine and Injury performs Facet Nerve Blocks on-site at our Ocala office location.
Florida Spine and Injury's Ocala office offers excellent staff integrative medical solutions for pain, with a team of medical physicians, physical therapists and chiropractors working together to provide you with best health care that keeps you pain-free.
We treat neck pain, back pain, whiplash, nerve pain and much more.
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