Some information about having facet joint injections.
The treatment described here may be adapted to meet your individual medical needs,
so it’s important to follow your consultant’s advice. Please raise any concerns or questions with your consultant or nurse. It is natural to feel anxious before hospital treatment but knowing what to expect can help.
About facet joint injections
The facet joints link together the bones in your back. They help to stabilise the spine and control the degree of movement. With age, they are prone to injury and deterioration and are a common cause of lower back pain, especially the type that is worse while sitting and improved by walking.
An injection into a facet joint is given to treat the pain, inflammation and any restriction of movement caused by the deterioration. A steroid medicine (which reduces inflammation) or a combination of a steroid and a local anaesthetic is injected into the joint. It can take up to a week for the full benefits of a steroid injection to be felt. The effects of a successful injection can last anything from a few weeks to several months. The benefits last longer than six months only in a minority of people. Repeat injections (usually up to a maximum of three) are possible.
For more information about sedation and anaesthesia, please see the separate Spire Healthcare patient information leaflets Having a general anaesthetic and Having a local anaesthetic or sedation. Your consultant will advise you which method is most suitable for you.
If a facet joint injection is successful, this will help your consultant decide whether you would benefit from further treatment.
Your consultant will explain the potential benefits and risks of having facet joint injections, and will also discuss the alternatives to the procedure.