A facet block is a diagnostic procedure performed on the facet joints in the spine to locate the origin of the patient’s arthritic pain and are performed under fluoroscopic guidance to properly treat that pain.
While a facet block is typically used to diagnosis the amount of pain someone is experiencing, it can also be helpful as a numbing medication. Specific types of “blocks” can help reduce inflammation.
The covering over the nerve roots in the spine is called the dura. The sleeve-like space surrounding the dura is called the epidural space. Nerves travel through the epidural space before they move into your legs. The nerves leave the spine from small nerve holes. These nerves may become inflamed due to irritation from a damaged disc or contact with a bone spur. Inflammation of these nerves may cause pain in your low back, hip, buttock, and legs.
An epidural injection places anti-inflammatory medicine (cortisone) into the epidural space to reduce nerve inflammation and hopefully, reduce your symptoms. By stopping or limiting nerve inflammation, we may promote healing, and speed up "mother nature," thereby decreasing your pain. Although not always helpful, epidural injections reduce pain and improve symptoms in most people within 3-7 days. They may provide permanent relief or provide a period of pain relief that will allow other treatments like physical therapy to be more productive.
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