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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 "They were professional and friendly." Provider: Balaji (Bobby) S Charlu MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "Such a great staff and doctors" Provider: Balaji (Bobby) S Charlu MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "Very efficient in providing the L4-L5 lumbar epidural. It has definitely helped." Provider: Kimberly Safman MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "She communicated with me throughout the procedure." Provider: Kimberly Safman MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "They were caring and careful with my care." Provider: Balaji (Bobby) S Charlu MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "Until last series of injections was very, very happy with results. I clearly overdid after last series and had very poor results. Need more information or warnings. Also need more information or other possible applications or use areas." Provider: Balaji (Bobby) S Charlu MD
  • Pain Management "Super caring, very knowledgeable, handles you with care." 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
  • Pain Management "I can talk easily with both Dr. Safman and Naomi. They seem very caring." Provider: Kimberly Safman MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "Dr Safman and team care about you. I do not feel like I am just a number to them. I have a lot of Faith in them and love them for caring." Provider: Kimberly Safman MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "He was very nice & personable. The pain I was having is gone...." Provider: Balaji (Bobby) S Charlu MD
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