The injection itself only takes a few minutes, but the entire procedure usually takes between 15 and 30 minutes. When the local anesthetic used to numb the skin wears off, you will probably experience some discomfort where the needles were placed. Although pain relief with facet joint injection generally occurs within 3-5 days, some patients experience improvement before or after this time period.
Immediately following the injection:
- The patient typically remains resting in the recovery area for 20 to 30 minutes and then is asked to perform some movements or activities that would usually provoke pain.
- Patients may or may not obtain pain relief in the first few hours after the injection, depending upon whether the joints targeted are the main source of their pain. If the joint or joints being targeted are not causing their pain, a patient will not obtain immediate relief from injection.
- On occasion, patients may feel numb or have a slightly weak or odd feeling in their neck or back for a few hours after the injection.
- The patient will discuss with the doctor any immediate pain relief.