The area will be sterilized and a local anesthetic will be injected to numb the skin. A needle containing anti-inflammatory medications, usually a steroid, will be inserted directly into your facet joint. Once it is removed, a sterile dressing is applied to the area.
Patients have had successful facet joint injections for years. You may notice some pain in your back or neck a few hours after the injection. Patients usually rest on the day of the procedure and resume normal activities the next day. Pain relief from the injection is usually felt by the second or third day.
Patients can have facet joint injections about three to six months apart, but in most cases, patients only need one or two treatments for pain relief.
All medical procedures have risks, but the risks associated with facet joint injections are very low. You may have some pain at the injection site. Rarely, you may have a headache. Less common side effects include allergic reaction, nerve damage, bleeding and infection.