Facet Injections

Anatomy of Facet Joints

The facet joints are the tiny joints situated at the upper and lower part of each vertebra, connecting one vertebra to the other. Each vertebra has four facet joints: a pair that connects to the vertebra above (superior facets) and another pair that connects to the vertebra below (inferior facets). They guide motion and provide stability.

Disease Overview

Pain may arise in the facet joints because of an injury to the back, spinal arthritis or increased stress on the backbone.

What is a Facet Injection?

A minimally invasive treatment called facet joint injection offers symptomatic relief from back pain caused by inflammation of the facet joints; however, this is not a permanent solution for the condition. The objective of the treatment is to suppress pain so that normal activities can be resumed and you can perform physical therapy exercises.

Composition of the Facet Injection

A facet injection contains a long-acting corticosteroid and an anesthetic agent administered either directly into the painful facet joint capsule or its neighboring tissues.

Indications of Facet Injections

The facet injection procedure may be performed primarily as a diagnostic test to determine if the pain is originating from the facet joints. Secondly, it is used to treat inflammation caused by several spine conditions.

Facet injection is indicated in conditions where all other conservative treatment modalities such anti-inflammatory medications, rest, back braces and physical therapy have become unsuccessful.

It may reduce inflammation in the facet joints caused by conditions such as:

  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolysis
  • Sciatica
  • Herniated disc
  • Arthritis

This treatment is not appropriate if you have an infection, bleeding disorder or during pregnancy. If you are on aspirin or blood thinners, you will be advised to stop taking them several days prior to the procedure.

Facet Injection Procedure

  • Facet injection is performed as an outpatient procedure where you can return home on the same day, but make sure you have someone with you to drive you home.
  • Usually, the procedure lasts for around 15-30 minutes followed by a short recovery period.
  • You will be lying face down on a table. Sedatives may be administered to keep you comfortable and a local anesthetic administered to numb the area of injection.
  • Then, your doctor will insert a hollow needle through the skin and muscles into the sensory nerves situated at the facet joints under the guidance of a fluoroscope.
  • Once the position of the needle is confirmed, the medication is injected into your facet joint capsule, following which the needle is withdrawn.

Risks and Complications of Facet Injections

Facet injections are considered as the most appropriate non-surgical means of treatment with minimal risks. The possible risks and complications associated with needle insertion may include bleeding, infection, allergic reaction or damage to the nerves. Some of the adverse effects of the corticosteroid medication include weight gain, water retention, flushing and mood swings, which usually resolve in 3 days.

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Melinda Bess
Melinda Bess
2024-02-14
Dr. Iqbal is the best pain management doctor I have ever had and will have. She does her homework first which I think makes the difference in diagnosis. She is the total package, a very smart and beautiful doctor, wife, and mother. Hand on Bible she changed my life, and I will forever be in debt to her. I can't say thank you enough. I appreciate her staff; they are all awesome as well. I laughed and cried in her office, but her smile and staff always made me feel welcome like part of their family. I would and will drive across country to see her. The referral to a new knee surgeon to fix a bad knee replacement was the best. I got a new knee, and it has been a huge blessing as well. Thank you, Dr. Iqbal and staff you all are 5 stars, in my life.
Nikin Mehta
Nikin Mehta
2024-02-13
Brian Knopf
Brian Knopf
2024-02-13
Dr. Iqbal and her staff are fantastic! I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I highly recommend her and her team
Brenda Jones
Brenda Jones
2024-02-02
I visited this facility in January for severe back pain I was experiencing. The whole ordeal from beginning to end was amazing. I wish I had known about this place years ago before suffering from so much pain. Dr. Mehreen Iqbal, her assistant Michealle Dooley and their staff is the best. I had a procedure done on 1/17/24 and I no longer suffer from back pain and I'm able to walk again. I highly recommend this facility, 10 Stars!!!
Ann Adkins
Ann Adkins
2024-02-01
Wonderful experience with Dr. Iqbal & her staff! She is amazing! She listens to her patients & immediately developed a plan to address my back & neck pain. I already feel SO much better and am confident that her plan for me will mean continued improvement. Her staff is wonderful too - friendly, helpful & responsive. I highly recommend Dr. Iqbal & her team!
Camille Adams
Camille Adams
2024-01-22
The staff are very kind and helpful, and Dr. Iqbal is very good at what she does. Would recommend to all my friends and family.
Noor Malik
Noor Malik
2024-01-02
My PCP recommended Dr. Mehreen and she was wonderful through out the entire injection process. She took her time explaining everything and was patient through out the process. In my opinion, she is the best pain management doc around.
Jessie Wilson
Jessie Wilson
2023-12-08
I love Dr. Iqbal and her staff, I couldn't be any luckier to have found her practice. Dr. Iqbal listens well and explains in detail any procedures. She is honest, caring, and down to earth. She and her staff are the greatest. I would recommend her to any of my friends or family.
Shimmerynight Skies
Shimmerynight Skies
2023-12-08
My mother is a patient here and the staff is super nice, fun, and sweet! I highly recommend coming here for friendly service
M
M
2023-12-04
Excellent doctor. Dr. Iqbal explained every thing in detail and laid out a very clear plant to treat the problem/pain.