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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 entire process was flawless. The doctor was great along with all the nurses in the pre-op and after op care! That's why I have no qualms about having to do this again." Provider: Balaji (Bobby) S Charlu MD
  • Pain Management "Dr. Safman and her team sincerely care about helping you with your orthopedic needs. Dr. Safman's knowledge for care is more focused than anyone else I have had contact with over my years of orthopedic needs." Provider: Kimberly Safman MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "Cared about me during procedure." Provider: Kimberly Safman MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "Such a great staff and doctors" Provider: Balaji (Bobby) S Charlu MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "Amazing and very professional. Explained everything that was happening as well as made me feel comfortable." Provider: Balaji (Bobby) S Charlu MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "I like the whole team. I feel very comfortable with them." 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 "She communicated with me throughout the procedure." Provider: Kimberly Safman MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "Her individualized personal and professional care really helps." Provider: Kimberly Safman MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "The exam was very caring, helpful and professional." Provider: Balaji (Bobby) S Charlu MD
  • Spinal Injections Epidural/Facet "They were very pleasant and knowledgeable. Also great at explaining the details of options and treatment." Provider: Kimberly Safman MD
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