The two main procedures performed in Pain Management Las Vegas today are facet injections and epidural steroid injections. They are not interchangeable procedures however. There are certain indications for one versus the other to help the patient with chronic or acute pain.
There are over 40 facet joints throughout the spine, starting at the neck and going all the way down to the sacrum. There are two at each level and they about the size of a thumbnail. Each joint maintains cartilage just like the hip or the knee, and is subjected to potential arthritis as individuals age.
When facet arthritis develops, it can lead to chronic pain in the area. Even though the joints are small, they can cause a lot of pain when injury and arthritis occurs.
Facet injections involve placing steroid and numbing medicine into the joint that is painful, along with possibly injecting numbing medicine around the joint itself. This does not involve placing the needle into the spinal canal, as the facet joints are located behind this area on the outside of the spinal column.
Epidural steroid injections are performed for different reasons and the needles placed into a different area. The epidural space is located directly around the spinal cord. In this area compression of nerve roots can occur, which is commonly known as a pinched nerve.
If a nerve becomes pinched by a herniated disc, it is commonly known as a slipped disc. In addition, spinal stenosis often leads to pinched nerves. In the case of spinal stenosis, there may be several nerve roots compressed as arthritis overgrows bone and soft tissue diffusely and can compress multiple nerve roots.
Pinched nerves in the lumbar spine lead to sciatica down one or both legs, and in the neck region it causes radiculopathy with pain down one or both arms.
Epidural steroid injections involve placing steroid medication in the epidural space over the area of the pinched nerves with subsequent pain relief.
So facet injections involve treatment predominately for chronic neck and back pain due to facet arthritis, whereas, epidural steroid injection’s involved treatment around the spinal cord for pinched nerves causing sciatica or radiculopathy.
Both procedures have shown excellent success in pain management. Over 75% of individuals on average achieve excellent pain relief with epidural injections and approximately the same with facet injections. Individuals receiving epidural steroid injections may receive a series of injections one to two weeks apart for six weeks (3 injections), and both types of injections may be repeated every few months as necessary.
Both facet and epidural injections are performed as an outpatient and have very low risk profiles. This may include a slight risk of infection, bleeding, nerve injury or allergic reaction to the medicines used.
If you need pain relief for back, neck arm or leg pain in the Henderson or Las Vegas area, let the Nevada Pain Network help you. The Network works with Las Vegas Pain Clinics, chiropractors and physical therapists in the Las Vegas area.
Call (702) 323-0553 for pain management Las Vegas help today!