Cervical Facet Blocks
A cervical facet block is a diagnostic procedure that allows physicians to determine and treat the source of chronic neck or back pain. Facet joints are located on both sides of the spine and are where vertebrae connect. Patients who have chronic back pain that has not been resolved with conservative treatments or physical therapy often benefit from facet block injections.
After the skin is numbed, the physician will use a video x-ray device called a fluoroscope to help guide the needle to the correct facet joint.
Once the medicine is injected into the joint, the nerves will numb and start reducing inflammation. Facet joints may be injected at more than one level of the spine, depending on the severity of the pain.
If the physician has correctly identified the joint or joints that are causing pain, patients will experience relief immediately. In some cases, the procedure may be repeated with other medicines that provide extended relief.