What Are Facet Injections?
Facet injections provide medication to the facet joints. Facet joints are situated in between the vertebrae starting from the neck all the way to the tailbone. These joints make it possible for the vertebra to move against each other.
The injections are non invasive and are not only used for treatment purposes but diagnostic as well. When it comes to diagnosis, facet injections can help to identify if pain is resulting from your facets at a certain level(s). With treatment, they can be used to relieve pain and inflammation that is caused by various spinal conditions.
How Long Does The Injection Take and What Is In It?
The injections with a Las Vegas pain management doctor usually take less than half an hour and contain a mixture of steroids and local anesthesia.
Is The Injection Painful?
Yes, there is some minor pain involved as the needle is inserted through the skin to deeper tissues. However, this pain is numbed with anesthesia and the numbing medication is inserted using a thin needle. Many patients ask for intravenous sedation as this makes the procedure more tolerable.
What Is The Procedure for Facet Injections?
There are different types of facet injections and though the process is pretty much the same, the lying position may differ. For most facet injections, you will be asked to lie on your stomach while if you are undergoing a cervical facet injection you will need to lie on your back.
Patients are monitored using a blood pressure cuff, blood oxygen monitoring device and an EKG. The injection area is cleaned with an antiseptic before the injection is carried out. A few injections can be administered in one visit, but these are usually not more than four. The injections are administered by Board Certified pain management doctors in Las Vegas.
How Do I Prepare for Treatment?
If you are under medication such as blood thinning medication or anti-inflammatory drugs, your Las Vegas pain clinic will advise you stop taking the medication a few days before the procedure. This is an outpatient procedure and you need to organize for transportation from hospital since you may not be in a position to drive especially if you have been given a local anesthesia.
Are There Side Effects?
Yes there are several side effects that come with the medications and you will experience soreness on the injection site a day or two after the injection. Pain is also a common side effect and these side effects are temporary. There are other risks involved and these are bleeding, infection, spinal block and others. You need not worry much about the dire side effects as these are uncommon.
How Effective Are Facet Injections?
These injections tend to be more effective in conditions whose pain is related to inflammation or facet arthritis. Over 70% of all patients who are administered with facet injections enjoy some pain relief. The pain can subside for a couple of days or possibly a few months.
If the pain is relieved and eventually returns, a radiofrequency ablation may be indicated for longer term pain relief.
How Many Injections Do I Need?
You only need one injection for a facet joint. However, it may take several injections depending on the extent of your symptoms and the injections may be carried out in a group of joints. When it comes to multiple injections, usually three are administered with a maximum of four being conducted at the same time.
If the injections are effective, you can undergo this procedure for about three times a year. If the injections have produced good results, you could be considered for facet rhizotomy which is a procedure that destroys the nerve fibers that are responsible for the pain.
The Nevada Pain Network connects those in pain with pain management doctors Las Vegas and Henderson trust. These doctors are Board Certified and Award Winning, such as the pain doctors at Innovative Pain Care Center. Most insurances are accepted, along with self pay.
If you or a loved one is suffering from chronic neck or back pain, call (702) 323-0553 today for more information and scheduling!