Lumbar Facet Injections (Back Injection)
What is a lumbar facet injection?
This procedure is used to treat facet joint pain in the low back region. Injury to these joints can cause low back pain that radiates to the buttocks and the back of the thighs. Lumbar facet joint pain is a common type of low back pain that is usually caused by trauma or from arthritis that occurs from normal aging. An easy and quick injection called a lumbar facet injection can be done to specifically target the joints in the back that are causing the back pain.
Who is a candidate for lumbar facet injections?
Facet joint pain can present in different ways depending on which facet joints are involved. Those that could benefit from lumbar facet injections have symptoms that include:
Back pain when bending backwards
Back pain when twist or bending side to side
Pain across the low back that feels like a "band" around the back region
Stiffness in the low back
Back pain that radiates to the back of the buttocks and thighs but NOT below the knees
What to expect during the procedure?
This procedure can not only significantly alleviate your low back pain but can also be used to confirm that the source of the back pain is the facet joints. This is done by mixing the numbing medication with a powerful anti-inflammatory steroid and injecting that combination into the facet joints. If there is immediate improvement of pain following the procedure, then it can be determined that the numbing medicine anesthetized the right cause of your pain. The combination of steroid and numbing medication is injected into the facet joints through a very thin needle with the guidance of an x-ray machine called a c-arm. The c-arm is used to identify the injured facet joints and then helps to direct the needle to the right location.
For more information or to discuss an appropriate treatment plan for your low back pain with one of our specialized pain management physicians, call Saint Louis Spine and Joint Pain Specialists today.