Lumbar Facet Steroid Injections are commonly used to treat Facet Joint Arthritis. Steroids, which are strong anti-inflammatories, are used to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation which may arise from arthritic facet joints.
During the procedure, the patient lies on their stomach with a pillow placed under the stomach for comfort and to flex the spine. The physician uses a live X-Ray machine called a fluoroscope to locate the appropriate facet joints. A small amount of local anesthetic is used to numb the skin to keep the patient comfortable throughout the procedure. With the guidance of the fluoroscope, the physician carefully guides a thin needle to the facet joint. A contrast dye is used to confirm the correct location of the needle, followed by injection of steroid and numbing anesthetic. The needle is removed, and a small band-aid is applied.
The steroid generally takes several days to reach its full effect. Effects may last several days or several months. Up to three injections may be given per year. Alternatives to Facet Steroid Injections include Radiofrequency Ablation, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), and Bone Marrow Concentrate (BMC) therapy.