A facet injection is a minimally invasive treatment option for back pain caused by inflamed facet joints. Facet joint pain is often related to spinal stenosis, sciatica or arthritis, and is characterized by neck, arm, low back or leg pain. Each vertebra has four facet joints that connect it to the vertebra above and below. This injection may also be used as a diagnostic test to determine if facet joint inflammation is the source of a patient’s pain.
The facet joint injection is comprised of a combination of a long-lasting steroid and a local anesthetic, which is injected either directly into the joint capsule or into its surrounding tissue. The steroid reduces inflammation and can relieve pain for a few days to a few years. This procedure can be repeated up to three times a year for those who experienced successful but short-term pain relief from this treatment.