Facet joint injection

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A steroid injection to diagnose or ease back pain

A facet joint injection can be used to diagnose or manage pain in your lower back.

About

The facet joints are thumbnail-sized pairs of joints in the neck, mid and lower back. Sometimes, they can cause pain in the head, neck, shoulders, chest, abdomen, bottom, groin or legs. A time-release steroid injection can be used to locate which joints are causing pain and help reduce inflammation.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    You will be asked to lie on your front. Your consultant will do a type of X-ray called a fluroscopy to get real-time moving internal images of your spine on a screen. They will use it to locate which facet joint they want to inject.

    This next part of the procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic, to block pain in the area. Your consultant will sterilise the skin on your back and inject a local anaesthetic. They will then use a larger needle to slowly inject a steroid solution into the affected facet joint.

    This whole procedure usually takes about 20 to 30 minutes. It can sometimes take longer. You won't need to stay overnight.

  • How to prepare icon plus

    Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you and explain the procedure to you. They also answer any questions you may have.


    You'll need ask someone to help you get home from the hospital after the procedure, as you won't be able to drive right away.


    Make sure you tell your consultant if you're taking any medicine, including blood thinning medications.

  • Afterwards icon plus

    After you've had the injection, you might feel some weakness in your legs. This happens if the nerves that control your movement have been temporarily affected. But this doesn't last long.


    You might feel some pain relief within 15 minutes of the procedure but it can up to a week.

Don't wait, pay for yourself

We offer this treatment at a fixed price at some of our facilities.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.

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