Cervical Facet Injection
A cervical facet injection involves injecting a small amount of local anesthetic (freezing) and an anti-inflammatory cortisone (steroid) medication into the facet join to decrease inflammation and reduce pain.
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR MY EXAM?
- Wear comfortable clothing
- It is recommended that you have a driver accompany you to this appointment.
- If you have diabetes, please eat one hour before your appointment.
- Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING MY EXAM?
- We may provide you with a comfortable clinic gown to change into (depending on the area being treated).
- Your technologist will explain the consent form, procedure details, and answer any questions before escorting you to our treatment suite where you will be greeted by the radiologist.
- You will lie on your stomach with your neck flexed and your forehead resting on the table. This is to open the facet joints for easier access with the needle.
- The radiologist will clean the skin and inject a local anesthetic, similar to the freezing you would get at the dentist.
- After the location is confirmed with X-ray guidance the steroid and freezing will be injected into the joint using a thin needle.
- You may experience mild discomfort, so please have someone accompany you on the day of your test. It may be more convenient to have someone drive you home.
- Please rest during the 24 hours after your injection.
- Leave the Band-Aid on for 24 hours.
- Avoid heavy activity and aggressive physical therapy or rehabilitation sessions for 24-48 hours.
- Be mindful of your pain and stop aggravating activities if it hurts too much.
- A mild increase in blood sugar levels may be noticed in patients with diabetes, which can last several days or up to one week.
- Please advise your physiotherapist that you have had this injection so they can modify your exercises, if necessary.
WHEN WILL I SEE RESULTS?
- The injection includes an anesthetic (freezing) so your relief is typically immediate, however the pain can return after a few hours as the freezing wears off and before the steroid takes effect. The steroid typically takes, on average, 2-5 days to start working, but can sometimes take over a week for full effect.
- Relief varies from weeks to months. Typically a facet steroid injection provides 3-6 months of symptom relief. Some patients get complete relief that is permanent, while others have no significant effect. If an injection does not help relieve your pain, then you may need further evaluation.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
This exam is covered under your Alberta Health Care Plan. It is not currently offered at our Saskatchewan clinic