Florida Facet Block Injections

Osteoarthritis, also known as facet joint syndrome, is a common condition associated with aging. There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but treatments are available, including facet block injections.

If you suffer from facet joint syndrome, consider speaking to a Florida facet block injections doctor about your treatment options. If you are an eligible candidate, this relatively simple procedure may provide you with long-term pain relief.

Facet Joint Syndrome

Facet joint syndrome occurs when swelling in the joint between two spinal vertebrae causes pain. Although this condition is usually associated with aging, injury and excess pressure on the facet joints may also cause or exacerbate facet joint syndrome.

Symptoms of this condition include:

  • Difficulty with spinal twisting or bending
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness

Eventually, the cartilage and lubricating fluid around the facet joints wears away, and bone-on-bone osteoarthritis occurs. This can lead to bone spurs and a narrowing of the spinal canal known as spinal stenosis.

How Facet Block Injections Work

The facet block injection consists of a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid, and a patient may also request intravenous sedation if needed. While the local anesthetic in the injection provides immediate temporary pain relief, the corticosteroid can take a few days to work. Once it begins working, pain relief may last from several weeks to a few months. When pain reappears, a Florida facet block injections doctor may recommend further treatments.

The entire procedure for a facet block injection takes up to 20 minutes. Patients usually lie on their stomachs, but if neck pain is involved, doctors may recommend alternate positions. The doctor performs the facet block injections under X-ray guidance in a procedure known as fluoroscopy. Depending on the number of affected joints, the patient may have up to three injections at one time.

If a patient opts for intravenous sedation, they must arrange a ride home from the doctor’s office after the injections. If they had only a local anesthetic, they may drive themselves home. Most patients can return to work and resume all normal activities the day after the procedure.

Side Effects and Contraindications

Facet block injections are usually safe procedures, but they do have a few side effects. Patients may feel soreness in the area of the injection for a day or so, but ice packs or over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) may provide relief.

As with any injection, there is always a small risk of infection, and bruising may occur. Some patients experience weakness or numbness for a few hours after the procedure.

Patients with untreated high blood pressure or a current infection, such as a cold or flu, are not candidates for facet block injections. Patients prescribed blood thinners must stay off these medications for a certain period of time before receiving facet block injections.

Contact a Florida Facet Block Injections Doctor Today

If you were diagnosed with facet block syndrome or are experiencing pain from osteoarthritis, consider seeking the services of an experienced Florida facet block injections doctor. Facet block injections may relieve your pain, allowing you to get back to a more active lifestyle. Call today to make an appointment and learn more about your treatment options.