Facet Joint Injections

Facet joints are found on the back of the entire spine (cervical, thoracic and lumbar). Each vertebrae rests on top of one another at these facet joints. These joints may become inflamed or irritated, causing pain. A steroid injection into the joint may be used to help alleviate pain and diagnose the source of a patient’s pain.


1. How is a facet joint injection performed?

a. Patient positioning: face down on a procedure table.

2. Will the procedure be painful?

a. A local anesthetic is used to numb the skin. This feels similar to a bee sting and lasts for a very short time, usually less than 30 seconds.

3. How does the physician know where to inject?

a. The physician uses fluoroscopic guidance (live XR imaging) directing the needle into the facet joint space. A contrast solution is injected and confirms the location of the medication to be placed.

4. What is injected?

a. A mixture of anesthetic (numbing medicine) and steroid (anti-inflammatory) is injected into the joint space.

5. End of Procedure

a. The needle is removed and a small bandage is placed to cover the site of the injection.

6. How long will it take to work?

a. Relief usually takes 3-7 days to estimate relief.

7. Who performs a facet joint injection?

a. Facet joint injections are performed by one of the board certified interventionalists at Spine and Nerve Diagnostic Center (SNDC). Our interventionalists have performed thousands of these procedures.

8. Where are facet joint injections performed?

a. Facet joint injections are performed at our state of the art SNDC procedure suites.