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Facet Joint Pain

The Facet Joint connects the posterior elements of the spine and is prone to degenerative changes. The facet joint carries up to 1/3 of the loading force of the lumbar spine. Osteoarthritis of the joints leads to cartilage fissures, fraying and erosions. Hereotopic Growth (bony spurs) leads to instability and inflammation. Degeneration of the Facet Joints account for approximately 10-15% of the cases with chronic low back pain.1

Symptoms of Facet Joint Pain Include:

  • Constant aching
  • Dull or sharp pain
  • Pain worsens with movement
  • Localized pain, but can refer pain to the hip or buttock area

The common types of nonsurgical treatments for facet joint pain are:

  • Lumbar Facet Block is procedure where medicine is injected directly into the joint.
  • Cervical Facet Block is procedure where medicine is injected into the cervical facet joint.
  • Medial Branch Block is a procedure where the facet joints are "innervated" by sensory nerves that come off the posterior aspect of the corresponding spinal nerve. These small sensory nerves "dorsal ramus medial branches form a lattice work sensation of the facet joints. Local anesthetic block of the Medial Branch Block can temporarily interrupt the pain signal carried to a specific facet joint.

Reference

1. Pope JE, Cheng J. Facet (Zygapophyseal) Intraarticular Joint Injections: Cervical, Lumbar, and Thoracic. Injections for Back Pain. 129-135. ClinicalKey.com. Accessed July 16, 2019.
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  • Interventional Procedure "Dr. Safman is caring and communicates well. The discomfort from the spinal injection is very minor. She makes it an easy procedure." Provider: Kimberly Safman MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "Very positive" Provider: Kimberly Safman MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "Always professional!" Provider: Balaji (Bobby) S Charlu MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "Dr. Charlu, Darren & the office staff were competent and sensitive to my questions and my care." Provider: Balaji (Bobby) S Charlu MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "The professional care done with a sense of warmth and humor." Provider: Balaji (Bobby) S Charlu MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "They seemed to be right on top of everything" Provider: Balaji (Bobby) S Charlu MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "Positivity. They want you to get better and suggest things that need to be done." Provider: Kimberly Safman MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "On time and very caring and professional." Provider: Kimberly Safman MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "I like Dr Charlu. He really cares about his patients and tries to make us comfortable at time of injections." Provider: Balaji (Bobby) S Charlu MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "I felt like the entire team was very caring." Provider: Kimberly Safman MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "They were professional and friendly." Provider: Balaji (Bobby) S Charlu MD
  • Pain Management "Lindsey listened to what I told her and helped me with my problems." Provider: Lindsay Charlu Baumhefner PA-C
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