standard-title Facet Joint Block
Cervical, Thoracic, or Lumbar
A facet joint block is a minimally invasive procedure that involves injecting steroids and local anesthetic into a small joint in the back of the spine to provide pain relief and/or to pinpoint the source of pain.
Preparing for your facet joint block:
- A representative will contact you prior to your appointment to review your medications and registration information.
- Be sure to let your doctors know if you are taking blood thinnners (Aspirin, Lovenox, Plavix, Heparin, or Coumadin). You MAY be asked to stop this medication 5 days before your procedure. You may resume the medication the day after your procedure.
- You will need to arrange for a driver to take you home.
- Nothing to eat or drink 2 hours prior to your appointment time.
- The joint to be studied will be injected with contrast dye, local anesthetic and steroid. If you have an allergy to any of these medications please notify our representative, scheduler, or nurse as soon as possible.
- You may experience some soreness at your injection site for up to 24 hours. This can be managed with over the counter anagelics such as ibuprofen or aspirin. Cold ice packs for 3-4 times daily for several days are also effective. You may take your own pain medication if already prescribed by your referring physician.
- You may experience numbness and relief of pain for up to six hours after your injection. It then takes a few days for the steroid to take effect. The length of effect is variable but can be anywhere from days, months or even years in some patients. If there is partial relief a second or third injection may be needed. If there is absolutely no relief of pain even for a few hours, then the injected joint is unlikely to be the source of pain.
- You can return to light activity the day of your procedure and avoid strenuous activity or physical therapy for the next 3 days.
If you develop fever or severe pain contact our office at 352-333-7847 (7VIP) or call your referring physician. After hours or on weekends, go to the nearest emergency room or call North Florida Regional Medical Center at 352-333-4000 and ask for the Radiologist on call.