Jason M. Gallina MD PC

Specialist in artificial disc replacement, non-fusion surgery and minimally invasive surgery

820 2nd Avenue, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10017
541 Cedar Hill Avenue
Wyckoff, NJ 07481
Phone: 212-616-4130 | Fax: 212-983-0483

Description | Indications | Mechanism | Limitations | Risks

Facet Blocks - Spinal diagnostic test

Description:

In a facet block, Lidocaine, or some other local anesthetic medication, is injected by the doctor into the facet joint, which numbs the area around the joint. If the patient's pain is diminished by the procedure, it is determined that the facet joint may be contributing to the patient's pain.

Indications:

A facet block is generally indicated when the patient is experiencing pain that is thought to be related to irritation of nerve branches going to the facet joint. The injection of local anesthetic into the joint may numb the nerves, and to diminish the patient's pain. A facet joint block can also be used therapeutically as treatment, if an anti-inflammatory agent such as Cortisone is also injected into the joint, which may reduce inflammation, and thereby relieve pain and discomfort for a limited period of time, usually weeks or months.

Mechanism:

The area in the back where the injection will take place, is numbed with a local anesthetic, and the doctor inserts a needle into the facet joint while monitoring the area on a fluoroscope. Once the needle is into the joint, which is visualized on the fluoroscope screen, anesthetic and Cortisone can be injected into the joint.

Limitations:

The facet joint block does not specifically diagnose nor treat any structural damage or abnormality that may be causing pain or discomfort.

Risks:

Since a needle is inserted into the back, the risk of infection is present, as well as the possibility of an allergic reaction to the Lidocaine and Cortisone that is injected into the facet joint.

doctor preparing needle