Facet joint syndrome is something I have never come across before until I was told by my pain consultants secretary that my consultant had reviewed my latest MRI and had requested me to go in hospital for some facet joint injections.
Basically, Facet joint syndrome is pain at the joint between two vertebrae in your spine. Another term for facet joint syndrome is osteoarthritis. The facet joints are the joints in your spine that make your back flexible and enable you to bend and twist.
According to Spine Health the symptoms may closely imitate those of a herniated disc a deep infection, a fracture, or a torn muscle of the spine, or in the low back, sometimes an acute intra-abdominal problem.
My pain consultant’s initial thought to my recent onset of pain was that maybe my prolapsed disc was pressing on a nerve, however this does not seem to be the case.
I read that the best way to find out if it definitely is facet joint syndrome is to have the facet joint injections and if they help instantly then you know it is face joint syndrome. You can then have the injections regularly every four months.
The injection contains a mixture of local anaesthetic and steroid. It is thought to have the following beneficial effects:
- Local anaesthetics numb the nerves for a period of hours giving short-term relief.
- Local steroid has a long-term effect reducing inflammation in the joint and around the nerves.
There are only minimal effects on the rest of the body using local steroids by this route of administration. Any side effects, are more likely to occur if steroids are given orally over a short period of time, for example raised blood pressure and weight gain.Diabetics may experience short-term problems.
I am waiting for my appointment to come through and will write a follow up post after the treatment.