The facet joint is where the vertebrae of your spine connect together. If there is arthritis or inflammation surrounding this joint it can be a source of your low back pain. This pain is usually worsened with standing and extension of your lower back.
A facet injection is an injection of steroid into the facet joint of the spine. The steroid decreases inflammation in this joint and can relieve pain. Since steroid is used this procedure may provide relief anywhere from weeks to months and in some cases years. These injections can be repeated if needed for continued pain relief.
Risks are rare but include infection, bleeding, prolonged increase in pain, and nerve damage. This procedure is done under X-ray guidance and IV sedation for your comfort.
An epidural steroid injection (ESI) is an injection of long lasting steroid (“cortisone”) in the epidural space; this space is the area which surrounds the spinal cord and the spinal nerves. The steroid medication injected reduces the inflammation and/or swelling of nerves in the epidural space, which may in turn reduce pain, tingling, numbness, and other symptoms. An ESI may be performed to relieve symptoms that are caused by spinal stenosis, spondylosis, or disc herniation. The procedure is done under IV sedation and with the guidance of an X-ray machine. The actual injection takes only a few minutes to perform.
Click here to read an article from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons about spinal injections.
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