Facet Joint Injection for mid back

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rwolhar
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 12/15/2008 7:34 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been on medicine for 7 months and finally have been recommended a facet joint injection. I would like to know if anyone has had these and if they help! I watched a diagram online and I am hopeful it will help the terrible pain I have in my mid back!!!! Thanks!

rwolhar
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 12/16/2008 3:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Hmm. no replies....is this an uncommon thing or just so minor compared to the surgeries and spinals everyone else is having.

I have a feeling in my back that is like a clenched fist...it wont go away. I try to twist and turn and it pops but I cannot get relief. My medication helps but I still "pop" my back and I never knew about facet joints before...i hope my Dr. knows what is going on!

On a 1-10 scale anyone know the pain score of a facet joint injection>>>>??????? Thanks! if you don't I;ll let you know soon!

I warned my Dr. that prior to operations and procedures I panic and black out and I am a black belt in tae Kwon Do. I almost killed my dental surgeon when he went to do my wisdom teeth surgery. I will def. need someting to relax me the day of (Valium)....! Weird isn't It?

This board is a great help reading about everyone! Thank You All for Contributing!!!!!!!!!

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 12/16/2008 3:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Rwolhar,
I meant to reply but I've been having some bad days. First, I'd encourage you to search older threads here in the chronic pain section. Facet joint injections are very similar to epidurals. I've had both. Unfortunately, neither helped. I've been through so many injections my head spins, but the one to my SI joint is the only one that helped. I've also had them in my hands for trigger fingers and those hurt way more than any of the spine injections.

I've never needed any sedation for any of my spinal injections, but the doctors have always used a local anesthetic first. And they were always using Xray (flouroscopic) guidance. They'd have to to find the right location. The injection site was a little sore for a couple of days, and I just used ice. When I was working, I actually went back to work the next day, but brought ice packs with me. I know a lot of others find them more painful. Also, some people have success with them. It all depends on whether that's where your pain ends up being located.

Remember mostly they're designed to work in a series of 2 or 3. When I had them for my trigger fingers, I had to go back every few months until I had the third injection. Then i never needed any more. I think that's how they're supposed to work in the ideal, so the first injection may not be a cure. Usually if the first two injections have no affect, they don't do anymore.

Some people do use IV sedation - depends also on the doctor. I always wanted to be able to walk out on my own. But if you tend toward panic, call your doctor's office and ask what the options are for you. As I said, I really never found them that bad at all. They're nothing compared to the pain we live with daily!

PaLady

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2147
   Posted 12/16/2008 4:26 PM (GMT -6)   
R-
I've had them. They helped me quite a bit for a long time. Now my joint is so bad I need surgery, but we had a good 4 year run with just the facet injections & they worked great up until this last year. Sometimes I would get them in sets. More often not. Mostly my doc just did them in his office, but sometimes he would do them under flouro.
They really hardly hurt at all. Nothing even close to the pain of getting wisdom teeth out (unless your doc screws something up). Afterward, I would have to ice the site for the rest of the day. Then, I would be good to go the next day - often for several weeks. Sometimes less. It just depends. Lately, they've only been lasting a couple days so that's why I'm headed to surgery. Even still, those couple of days when my pain is cut in half are pure bliss. Personally, I would say they're definitely worth a try.

good luck!
frances

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 8106
   Posted 12/16/2008 4:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I've had Iv sedation for all, but one series of injections (that one was heck!) anyways
long run most help I got from injections was for a brief 3 hour period and felt like I was in Heaven.
other than that it'sa procedure just used as a diagnositic tool, to see how or if the
injections work. PAlady gave ya wonderful advise, PAlady well wishes to ya!
soft hugz, nice to meet you sure wish it wasn't under this topic though (ment in a nice way)...
**********************************************
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc, Fibromyalgia, Gerd, Enlarged Pituitary Gland
******** "We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world" from Helen Keller *********

********>^..^<********>^..^<********>^..^<********


rwolhar
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 12/16/2008 7:00 PM (GMT -6)   
I think a lot of my pain may come from these facet joints. I pop my back all day long and like I said beofre it is like a fist in my back all the time. When they give you these injections, what do they do about the pain pills? I, admitantly, have dependency and was wondering if they would say to stop them or if you keep taking them after the injection.

It is so funny that at first my regular DR had no idea what my pain could be....so off to pain mgmt I went. He said it could be a torn muscle and after a couple months on pills he suggests this injection.....Pain is such a guessing game. I'll try darn near anything to get some relief.

My wife is so sick of hearing about my meds, my pain, my story.....I am gonna get a friend to drive me home from the injection so my pain doesn't affect her anymore than it already has...i can tell she is so sick of it.

Pain is hard to understand. These facet joints................they are not muscles so I probably dont need my muscle relaxers at all....they don't make me drowsy though but I dont like taking things unneccessarily. darn Pain! smurf
Qty 5 (15MG Oxycodone) Per day
Soma 5 times a day
IB-Profen 500MG 5 times a day

Tens Unit 1-2 hours per day
Lidocaine Patches - 2 per day
Chiropractic help 2 times per month


Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2147
   Posted 12/16/2008 8:53 PM (GMT -6)   
It will be up to your doctor. Usually they will encourage you to be more vigilant to see whether you still need to take as many pain meds as you did before the procedure. It would be very unusual, though not unheard of, for a PM to cut you off all meds before seeing whether or not the procedure holds.

Your back will probably still make those "popping sounds". Mine does. My doc said it's nothing to worry about. You can look it up on the Mayo Clinic site. They seem to agree that it's harmless & not a sign or cause of any problems.

If the muscle relaxants aren't really helping it would be good to get off of them. They can also cause dependency. Everyone's different, but for me those were worse to try to get off of than the narcs. I was so sick & miserable. Now I steer clear of them at all costs & just try to tough it out & do more PT. arrrgghhh! no fun at all, but come back here to the forum whenever you need to complain or are looking for support.

good luck with the injections!
frances

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 11182
   Posted 12/17/2008 3:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I had the facet joint injection done and it did help me for awhile. Mine were done under light sedation. I suggest you tlk with your dr about what meds to stop, he is the one that should make that decision. We all want off meds but sometimes its not possible. Good luck ,on the injection. Susie


rwolhar
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 12/18/2008 9:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank U all! I am going to try to get Valium the day off and night before the needle so I don't head kick the nurse or spin kick to Doctor. I am very anxious to see what it does. I am tired of watching the clock and almost always knowing just from the pain that it is time for another pill. I'll let everyone know how it goes.
Qty 5 (15MG Oxycodone) Per day
Soma 5 times a day
IB-Profen 500MG 5 times a day

Tens Unit 1-2 hours per day
Lidocaine Patches - 2 per day
Chiropractic help 2 times per month


mistyblue59
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/19/2008 12:33 AM (GMT -6)   
 I'm new to this sight so here's my story,
    
   Hello Every Body,
   I've had back pain since 2000, I've got DDD, pinched nerves, lower spine is twisted, both my legs in  front and back constantly hurt, bottom of both feet feels like needles sticking me, have alot of cramps in my feet and the top of my leg ( I hardly ever had cramps before), had 2 MRI's, been to about 5 different drs. plus physical theraphy, I'm on hydrocodone and Carisoprodol , I've had 6 epidural injections. None of those helped. I went on the 15th of this month and had Facet injections ( deadin the nerves temp. 2-6 hrs.). My back felt pretty good for 3 hours then the pain came back didn't help my legs though. Now they want to do radiofrequency ablation (deadin the nerves perm.) and I don't know about that.
 
   I would like to know if anyone has or knows anybody that has had that done if it worked or not..
  Please help anybody......... confused

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 12/19/2008 12:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Mistyblue,
Welcome to the HW chronic pain forum. I'm always sorry that there's another person with pain, but glad you found us. We're not doctors but there's great support and a wealth of information about all our experiences.

I would suggest you start a new thread of your own, maybe with radiofrequency in the title if that's what you're looking for right now. Then everyone can see you more easily, as everyone might not read this thread.

I had researched RF a couple of years ago, thinking it might be something I could consider. But none of the numerous injections I had in my spine ever dulled the pain for more than a brief time, which was probably nothing more than the local anthesthetic. The SI joint injection was the only one that worked, and I don't think they do RF there, although I'm not sure.

I also have sciatic pain, and numbness and tingling in both feet. Nothing has ever helped my feet except neurontin. I had a double lumbar fusion last year, which didn't help any of my symptoms. From what I know of RF, it's done when the source of your pain is located via a nerve block or epidural. Then the nerve can be injured (the specialist told me they no longer completely severe the nerve because people were getting phantom pain) so that it can no longer transmit pain signals. Nerves can regenerate in about two years, though, so RF's may not be permanent, but if they found the nerve that was causing the majority of your symptoms it might be worth it. But it doesn't sound like they've located the main source, so I'd have an awful lot of questions for my doctors about why they wanted to do the procedure if you haven't had adequate pain relief form the nerve blocks.

Start a new thread and I'm sure others will add their experienes. And again, welcome to the forum!

PaLady

DavidH
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 12/19/2008 3:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to CP forum, I have two different injections both have been CT guided:

The first injection was a left side interframinal injection and yes they got the right spot as the pain level went thru the roof. I had a nerve reaction and could not walk for about 4 – 5 Hours still with pain. I did get relieve for only about 6 hours pain free.

The second injection was an epidural block and I got good relieve from the radial pain in my legs put on relief from central back pain.

The main advantages of these injections are they are safe compared to other methods of treatment.

I have friends that have had the injections in the past with full relief from all pain for years, You need to remember that the people on this forum may have had the injections and like my-self had no real relief as if we did we would not be on this forum.

I hope this helps

David
VIEW IMAGE sitting work away It's worth a look

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