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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 "The professional care done with a sense of warmth and humor." Provider: Balaji (Bobby) S Charlu MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "Dr. Charlu and his team was very nice and considerate. Dr Charlu did a good job and I feel better." Provider: Balaji (Bobby) S Charlu 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 "He seemed hopeful about the outcome" Provider: Balaji (Bobby) S Charlu MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "He provided feedback on the procedure step by step to ensure I knew what was going to happen." Provider: Balaji (Bobby) S Charlu MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "Explaining what he was going to do for procedure." Provider: Balaji (Bobby) S Charlu MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "Dr. Safman explained everything she was doing and really made me feel at ease." Provider: Kimberly Safman MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "Very friendly and comforting during the procedure. Great experience in what could be a stressful environment." Provider: Balaji (Bobby) S Charlu MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "Everyone was attentive professional and pleasant. A great smooth and stress free experience." Provider: Kimberly Safman MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "I was able to get a quick appointment for my treatment. Very pleased!" Provider: Balaji (Bobby) S Charlu MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "Professional, efficient, willingness to answers questions, great followup after procedure was done." Provider: Kimberly Safman MD
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