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If you’ve been experiencing excessive back pain due to a work-related injury or a bad car accident, you may be seeking ways to ease the pain, without taking a prescription painkiller that’s going to make you feel groggy. Perhaps you need to return to work to earn a living but you don’t want to feel drowsy from prescription painkillers. One possible solution is to have a lumbar facet injection done to help decrease pain and speed up the healing process.
There are facet joints within the lumbar structure of your spine. These are small joints located at the segment of the spine that help guide motion. Unfortunately, if you experience a back injury, these facet joints can become painful.
A lumbar facet injection involves an injection of local anesthetic (or numbing agent), along with a steroidal medication. These combined medications can help to block the pain you’re experiencing, while the steroid will also work at decreasing the inflammation in your back.
The main goal of a lumbar facet injection is to help ease the pain of the patient enough so that you can begin a physical therapy routine to rehabilitate your injured spine or back.
At Florida OrthoCare, your orthopedic surgeon can perform the LFI for you. This is a relatively short clinic visit as it’s a short procedure. It can be done in a clinic or in a surgical center.
Before your injection is done, you may have a fluoroscopy, or a live x-ray, to help discern the right location to insert the needle, and for safety.
The injection itself only takes a few minutes. You can expect your appointment to be from around fifteen to thirty minutes in total.
Right after your injection, you’ll be expected to rest in the recovery area for about twenty to thirty minutes. Your doctor will return and ask you to move your back in varying directions. This will test your movement and pain tolerances.
It’s recommended that you give yourself four to six hours to recover after lumbar facet injection.
Some patients may experience pain relief right away, while it may take a few hours to several days for the injection to work for others. Sometimes there will be an unusual numb feeling, much like if you were at the dentist to have freezing done for a filling.
After the appointment, someone else should drive you home. You should avoid your regular pain medication for four to six hours afterward, just to determine if the injection has been a success. Over the next two weeks, you can gradually increase your activities.
Lumbar facet injection can be an effective way to help ease the pain in your back so you can resume your normal activities. It may also be a good option for jobs that require you to be alert on the job. It’ll also help you to resume normal living activities once again.
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