Facet joints in the neck or back can sometimes be the source of pain in patients suffering from spinal stenosis, spondylolysis, sciatica, lumbar and cervical radiculopathies, and arthritis.
In order to temporarily relieve pain symptoms in these areas, a doctor or surgeon can administer an injection of a steroid and an anesthetic directly into the affected joints and surrounding tissues. This is a minimally invasice procedure that can produce immediate pain reduction or elimination. The effects of the procedure may last weeks, months, or in some cases may give the body a chance to recover to the point that pain never reoccurs.
The challenge in administering a facet injection is pinpointing the exact location of the most effective injection site. This can be due to many factors, such as scar tissue, abnormal physiology, or adipose tissue. It often becomes necessary to perform the procedure aided by visual guidance.
Fluoroscopy Guided Facet Injections
Fluoroscopy is a technology for seeing into the part of the body where pain is occurring. This is done using computer and x-ray machines to help the doctor administering the injection to see exactly where the drugs should be injected. It dramatically increases the effectiveness and success rate of facet injections.