Facet and sacroiliac joint injections are procedures performed in an effort to relieve or eliminate pain. Facet joints are located on the back of the spine on each side, where one vertebra slightly overlaps the adjacent vertebra; they guide and restrict movement of the spine. A sacroiliac joint (SI joint) is the space between the spine and pelvis.
A facet/sacroiliac joint injection will take approximately 30 minutes.
You will be positioned on your stomach on an x-ray table. The fluoroscopy camera will be positioned above you. The area to be injected will be cleansed with an antiseptic solution. Local anesthetic will be applied to numb the area.
A small needle will be placed into your facet or SI joint(s). The location of the needle will be confirmed by injecting a small amount of x-ray contrast. Some patients feel a slight pressure sensation or discomfort while the contrast is being injected. Next a combination of anesthetic and steroid preparation will be injected.
A summary of the procedure will be sent to your healthcare provider.
Unless directed otherwise, you may resume your normal diet, prescribed medications and activities, although rigorous activities should be avoided until the next day.
As the anesthetic that was injected wears off, your symptoms may return and may be worse for 1-2 days until the steroid takes effect. You may feel soreness at the needle insertion site for 2-3 days. You can use an ice pack for up to 15 minutes per hour to relieve any discomfort.
In some patients, a single injection will give permanent relief. Many patients require multiple injections. In patients where inflammation is not a contributing factor to the pain, this injection may not provide any relief.