This procedure treats the cervical facet joint, which is formed in the back of the spine where the bones in the spine contact each other.
Facet injections are used for patients with low back pain and leg pain stemming from inflammation or irritation of the facet joints. Facet blocks, which are meant to reduce the inflammation of tissue in the joint space, are used to diagnose and treat a number of painful conditions, including work or sports injuries caused by twisting motions, low back pain without disc conditions, facet arthritis, and pain following back surgery.
A short-acting anesthetic temporarily numbs nerves to relieve pain and added medication reduces swelling and inflammation, to provide more lasting pain relief. The injection is performed while the patient is lying face down on a table, and under local anesthesia with the guidance of fluoroscopy (which provides live x-ray imaging of the body).