Facet joints are small joints at the back of your spine that provide your vertebral column with stability. They can be found in three areas of your vertebral column – Cervical (in your neck), Thoracic (upper back); and Lumbar (lower back).
Facet Joint Injections are also known as cortisone (steroid) injections and are used in pain management therapy most commonly in your neck or back.
To help alleviate this pain, a small local anaesthetic with a steroid is injected into and around the facet joint that is causing your discomfort. This steroid will help reduce the inflammation and any associated swelling.
How do I prepare?
Please arrive early for your exam as you will be asked to complete a questionnaire.
It’s a good idea to dress in a separate top and bottoms, as this makes accessing the area we need access to easier.
We suggest you bring a friend along to drive you home after the appointment, or arrange to get a taxi home.
Technology and Team
Facet Joint Injections are performed using either a CT scanner or Ultrasound.
The injection is performed by one of our specially trained Radiologists.
What happens during my examination
Your Radiographer will explain exactly what will happen during your procedure. It may vary slightly from what we describe below, so don’t worry if this is the case, you’ll always be in very good hands.
On entering the CT room you will be introduced to the Radiologist and nurse who will be administering the injections. You will be asked to lie on the bed face down. We’ll clean the site with antiseptic before administering a local anaesthetic to numb the area.
Our Radiologist will then insert a needle using the guidance of CT imaging technology. This is to ensure the needle is directed into the spinal area correctly.
Throughout the procedure, the Radiologist will talk to you about what they’re doing. They will leave the room and come back several times as they review the images on the screen outside the scanning room. The bed will move slowly into the gantry and then slowly out again. This may happen several times.
The procedure will last around 30 minutes. You may feel some minor pressure or discomfort. We’ll do our very best to keep this to a minimum and keep you comfortable.
Following the procedure, you may sense slight relief almost immediately due to the local anaesthetic, however, this will wear off after a short period. The steroid injection itself should take effect after approximately 24 hours.
At the end of the examination, you will be able to redress and leave.
After your examination
A report on the procedure and images will be sent directly to your referring Doctor. Please ensure you book a timely follow-up appointment to discuss your results with them.
The cost of your procedure will depend on various factors. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.