Frequently Asked Questions About Cervical Facet Joint Injections

Frequently Asked Questions About Cervical Facet Joint Injections
Patients may be recommended for a cervical facet joint injection after other types of traditional or conservative treatments have not been successful. Because they are not the initial treatment path, some patients are slightly apprehensive about having these injections, which, although understandable, there is actually no reason to feel nervous or apprehensive; it is a very safe procedure.
But there are some questions that patients often ask about having a cervical facet joint injection, which relate to the procedure and what will happen both during it and after it has been carried out.
Does A Cervical Facet Joint Injection Hurt?
The injection itself is administered under local anaesthetic, so the pain level is minimal. If you are very nervous about injections or needles, it may be possible to have a sedative medication administered to help relax you. However the procedure itself is not painful, since the anaesthetic will ensure that pain is minimal.
What Is In The Injection?
The injection consists of an anaesthetic to help ‘numb’ the cervical facet joint as well as a special steroid that will help to flush out any inflammation and the cervical facet joint will be both anaesthetised and soothed. In turn this results in a reduction in the pain levels.
Do I Have To Stay In Hospital?
There is no need to stay in hospital, unless you have some other medical condition that requires you to stay in. It is an outpatients procedure and after the injection is carried out, you will be monitored and then discharged to go home.
Patients should be advised that they will not be able to drive on the day of the injection. There is often some weakness in the arms for a few hours after the injection or patients may feel slightly light headed, so it is important not to drive. It can also be really helpful to have someone stay with you for the rest of the day, so that you do not have to lift anything or do anything that requires co-ordination skills to be used.
Will The Pain Relief Be Immediate?
Some people do have immediate pain relief, but others do not have such instant results. It really depends on the reaction of the cervical facet joints, with patients experiencing varying levels of pain relief. Sometimes the pain can come back after a few hours, but this does not mean that the injection has not been successful. The steroid that is used in the injection can take a few days to work, so if you do find that you have pain later on in the day when you were injected, or even the day after, it is important not to panic; it may simply mean that the steroid is taking time to be effective.
Indeed, it can take up to 10 days for the injection to be effective. If pain relief is not elicited within 10 days, it is likely that the procedure has not been successful, but this is thankfully quite rare, with most patients finding it really does improve their pain.
Is The Procedure Safe?
This is indeed a very safe procedure and there are very few risks associated with it because it is minimally invasive. The risks are minor, such as getting an infection in the skin etc, but there are no major risks associated with a cervical facet joint injection.
 
 

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