What are the steps of the injection procedure?

  • Commonly, the procedure is performed without any sedation. However, an IV line can be started if relaxation medicine is needed.
  • The patient lies on a procedure table, and the skin over the area to be tested is well cleansed.
  • The physician treats a small area of skin with a numbing medicine (anesthetic), which may sting for a few seconds.
  • The physician uses X-ray guidance (fluoroscopy) to direct a very small needle into the facet joint.
  • A small amount of contrast dye is then injected to confirm that the needle is in the joint and that medication is contained inside the joint.
  • Following this confirmation, a small mixture of anesthetic (such as lidocaine) and anti-inflammatory medication (steroid/cortisone) is then slowly injected into the joint.
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