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Facet Injections for Joint Injuries After an Auto Accident

The pain and trauma following a car accident can take the wind out of your sails. In addition, it can lead to a myriad of injuries and painful symptoms, especially if your back was impacted. The spine is extremely sensitive and spinal injuries can cause things like immobility, ongoing chronic pain, and even paralysis if not treated promptly.

Yes, the joint pain in the spine can be unrelenting, and your doctor may recommend a facet joint injection. Our pain specialists at Impact Medical Wesley Chapel explain what these injections are and how they can offer pain relief for accident victims.

What are Facet Joint Injuries?

Facet joint injuries are common in car accidents as the car stops suddenly, causing the spine to elongate and contract in a matter of seconds. This can lead to a fracture or misalignment of the facet joints.

Facet joints control the extent to which your back moves in any direction. Hyper-extension of your back can cause them to fracture or break, leading to chronic pain, and even paralysis. There are four facet joints that connect each vertebra to the vertebra above and below it in the spine.

Facet joint injuries occur when the cartilage found between the joints gets torn, leading to severe pain and inflammation due to the spinal bones grinding together.

What are Facet Joint Injections?

Facet joint injections are a minimally invasive treatment for chronic back pain caused by a car accident. They can also be used as a diagnostic tool to determine whether facet-joint inflammation is a source of pain.

A facet-joint injection comprised of a long-lasting steroid and a local anesthetic, is administered into either the joint capsule or its surrounding tissue. The anesthetic provides temporary pain relief, but the steroid reduces inflammation, relieving pain for anywhere from a few days to a few years.

Facet joint injections can be repeated up to 3 times a year for those who have short-term, but successful pain relief.

The Facet Joint Injection Procedure

During the procedure, the injection site is numbed with a local anesthetic. A needle is then inserted directly into the facet joint through the back, and fluoroscopy, an X-ray imaging technique is used to ensure precise placement.

Once the needle is correctly aligned, a combination of anesthetic and cortisone is injected into the facet joint. The entire procedure should take less than 30 minutes to perform.

You will feel immediate pain relief from the anesthetic used in the injection, but it can take several days to determine whether the cortisone steroid has had any effect.

There may be mild pain at the injection site, but it can be managed by taking Ibuprofen and applying ice.

Facet Joint Injection Recovery

Following a facet joint injection, you can return home shortly after receiving the injection and can resume your regular activities the next day. A follow-up visit to your doctor will be in about a week, and your doctor will check to see how effective the injection has been in treating your symptoms.

How Long Does a Facet Joint Injection Last?

Facet joint injections can offer relief for 3 months or longer, though some studies say that they offer pain relief for 3 to 6 months.

They can be repeated three times a year.

Wesley Chapel Pain Relief

If you have been in a car accident in Wesley Chapel and are suffering from chronic back pain, a facet joint injection may be the answer to offer you some relief.

Contact our pain specialists at Impact Medical Wesley Chapel for a facet joint injection consultation today at (813) 953-1002!