Spinal Facet Joint Injections
Navigating Through Spinal Facet Joint Injections
Spinal facet joint injections stand as a pivotal technique in the diagnostic and management arena for managing spinal pain. Cases where pain emanates from the facet joints can be notably challenging to diagnose and treat effectively. Spinal facet joint injections not only offer a diagnostic utility but also provide therapeutic relief, particularly relevant in cases such as lumbar spondylosis and zygapophyseal joint pain.
The Anatomy and Physiology of Facet Joints
In order to comprehend facet joint injections, a basic understanding of the facet joint’s anatomy is imperative. Facet joints, or zygapophyseal joints, are synovial joints present throughout the spine, differing in size and orientation depending on the specific vertebral level. Facet joints not only restrict excessive motion but also distribute axial load and prevent intervertebral joint displacement from various movements.
It is essential to note that pain arising from these joints could stem from numerous sources, including degenerative arthritis and capsular distension, among others, and this pain is thought to be the primary source in a significant percentage of patients experiencing spinal pain.
A Prudent Approach to Facet Joint Injections
Indications for employing facet injections are multifaceted, ranging from persistent pain not alleviated by conservative measures to the necessity for additional pain management following spinal fusion. It is pivotal to ascertain that conservative management, including multimodal medication and physical therapy, has been pursued for at least three months prior to proceeding with injections.
On the other hand, while there are no absolute contraindications apart from patient refusal, relative contraindications encompass scenarios such as local infection, pregnancy, and coagulopathy, which should be meticulously evaluated.
Implementation Technique and Potential Complications
With the essential equipment and qualified personnel in place, the procedure of spinal facet injections is conducted with utmost precision. Under image guidance using fluoroscopy or CT, a spinal needle is inserted into the facet joint, followed by the injection of a contrast medium and, subsequently, a combination of local anesthetic and steroids.
While this technique offers substantial relief and diagnostic insight, it is not devoid of potential complications, albeit rare, which can include nerve root irritation, hematoma, and septic arthritis. Thus, comprehension and anticipation of these complications are paramount in facilitating a safe and efficacious procedure.
Getting the Right Physicians
When you’re seeking impeccable expertise in facet joint injections, turn to Gateway Spine & Pain Physicians. With a dedicated team that has been assiduously treating pain since 2007, our clinic has established an unassailable reputation for excellence throughout the Chicago region. Connect with us and allow our esteemed team to craft a path to alleviate your pain and guide you toward a pain-free future.