The spine has joints that link one vertebrae to the next vertebrae. The joints have cartilage on the surfaces of the bone that allow the two bones to slide along one another so that we can bend, twist and rotate. When the joint or cartilage becomes irritated or inflamed it can cause severe neck or back pain and over time results in worn down cartilage and bone spurs (facet arthritis).
Facet injections are performed under x-ray to help the physician place the needle and a very small amount of steroid and local anesthestic into the facet joint that is inflamed.
Facet injections typically only take minutes to perform and can last for months or years. One may be all you need. If more are required you can have up to 3 to 4 per year.
Not all patients and procedures are the same. The above is an example of what the typical patient can expect from some minimally invasive procedures.
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