Facet Joint Injection
(Medial Branch Block; Zygapophysial Joint Injection; Z-Joint Injection)
|Facet Joint Injection|
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Reasons for Procedure
- Tenderness, bruising , or bleeding at the injection site
- Worsening of pain
- Allergic reaction to the medication used
- Nerve injury
- Muscle weakness
- Have had pain for a short time (less than 6 weeks)
- Have not tried other conservative treatment
- Have had success with conservative treatment
- Have allergies to the local anesthetic, x-ray contrast, or medications being used
- Have a bleeding disorder or take blood thinning medication
- Have pain that is due to an infection or malignancy
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure or diabetes
- Unstable angina or heart failure
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- A physical exam
- Imaging tests to evaluate the spinal structures with x-rays or an MRI scan
- To discuss allergies that you may have to the anesthetic, pain medication, or latex
- Your doctor may ask you to avoid food or drink a few hours before the procedure.
- You will need someone to drive you home after the procedure.
Description of Procedure
- Try another facet joint
- Inject more medication
- Try an alternative spine injection
Immediately After Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Call Your Doctor
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, bleeding, or discharge from the injection site
- Nausea or vomiting
- Severe pain or headache
- Fever or chills
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Progressive weakness or numbness
American Chronic Pain Association http://www.theacpa.org
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://www.orthoinfo.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
The Arthritis Society http://www.arthritis.ca
Lumbar zygapophysial (facet) joint injections. North American Spine Society Know Your Back website. Available at: http://www.knowyourback.org/Pages/Treatments/InjectionTreatments/LZJ%5FInjections.aspx. Accessed March 5, 2012.
Spinal injections. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00560. Accessed March 19, 2012.
Spinal injections. Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago website. Available at: http://www.ric.org/conditions/sportsmed/SpinalInjections.aspx. Accessed March 19, 2012.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 12/2014 -
- Update Date: 12/20/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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