Center for Pain Management
Lumbosacral Facet Block and Steroid Injection
A lumbosacral facet block and steroid injection is performed when a patient suffers from back, buttock, hip and/or thigh pain. The procedure can help determine whether particular facet joints (small stabilizing joints between vertebrae) are causing the pain symptoms as well as provide temporary pain relief. Although these goals are typically achieved, there is no guarantee that the cause of pain will be identified or that pain will decrease.
What to Expect
The procedure takes about 30 minutes, during which, a radiologist will use fluoroscopy to pass a needle into the appropriate facet joints. A separate needle will be used for each joint. Once all the needles are correctly positioned, the anesthetic medication will be injected around the joint. Two types of medications will be injected. The first, a short-acting anesthetic agent, is injected for diagnostic information. Pain relief from this medication will wear off in about 4 – 5 hours. The second medication—an anti-inflammatory steroid—will provide longer-term pain relief and will begin working after 1 – 2 days.
During the injection you may feel pressure or mild discomfort that lasts for several seconds. After the procedure, the short-acting anesthetic can make your legs feel numb or weak for a few hours, so you should minimize activity for 4 – 5 hours. You can leave immediately after your procedure is performed if you have someone to assist you home.
Schedule a Lumbosacral Facet Block and Steroid Injection.