What is it?

Due to wear and tear (arthrosis), inflammation, surgery or an accident, the facet joints (the mobile connections between the vertebrae) may undergo changes. This can irritate nerves, which then causes pain in the neck, chest or lumbar areas.

Pain originating from the facet joints in the neck cause neck pain, which can sometimes radiate to the shoulder and in-between the shoulder blades. Neck movement is also often restricted.

When there is irritation in the facet joints of the lower back, there is usually pain that wraps around the lower back. This sometimes radiates to the upper legs. The pain may also manifest on one side only.

With therapeutic facet injections, the painful joints are injected with a local anaesthetic and corticosteroids. Corticosteroids reduce the inflammatory reaction in order to take away the pain.

Process

Preparation

On the day of the treatment, you will come to the hospital.
The physician will inform you beforehand whether or not you need to be fasting for the procedure.

MedicationStopComments
Asaflow®, Aspegic®
Cardioaspirin®, Aspirin®
Dispirl®, Sedergin®
Stop if >500 mg/day

Marcoumar®, Sintrom®
Marevan®
Seven days before the procedure
Replace with injections (see Clexane, for example)
Anticoagulation before the procedure
Ticlid®
ten days before the procedure

Plavix®, Clopidogrel
Brilique®, Efient®
Seven days before the procedure

Xarelto®, Eliquis®
Lixiana®, Pradaxa®
48 hours before the procedure

Fraxiparin®, Clexane®
Fraxodi®
24 hours before the procedure
Start taking these again a minimum of six hours after the treatment
• Three days afterwards take together with regular blood thinners
• Have a anticoagulation follow-up with your GP one week after

By law, you may not drive any vehicles or operate machinery the morning after the treatment. Therefore, make sure that somebody can take you to and from the hospital. The physician or nurses can provide you with certificates, if required. If you wish, the nurses of the Pain Centre can order a taxi for you.

Always inform the physician if:

  • you have diabetes or a heart condition
  • you are (or could be) pregnant
  • you are allergic to certain medications, contrast agents or iodine (disinfectant), latex, etcetera
  • you take blood thinners

If you have reduced kidney function, have recently experienced thrombosis or a heart attack or have had a stent implanted, you must contact your attending physician first.

Latest publication date: 28/06/2021