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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 professional, created a peaceful environment and my pain treatment was effective." Provider: Balaji (Bobby) S Charlu MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "Dr. Charlu and his team are very good and compassionate with their patients." Provider: Balaji (Bobby) S Charlu MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "They answered every question and took a genuine interest and concern for me." Provider: Kimberly Safman MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "Her concern and daily check ins." Provider: Kimberly Safman MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "Dr. Safman and her staff are highly professional in their manner yet are also personable and calming. Her high level of expertise is evident during each procedure she has performed on me." Provider: Kimberly Safman MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "Everyone was very friendly & encouraging" Provider: Balaji (Bobby) S Charlu MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "Very positive" Provider: Kimberly Safman 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 "Very personable and like how they find solutions other than surgery. Entire staffing team has been great!" 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 "Such a great staff and doctors" Provider: Balaji (Bobby) S Charlu MD
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