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Old 07-26-2007, 07:43 AM   #1
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dj1960 HB User
Facet Joint Injections

I had 3 facet joint injections on the 10th of July and after the first few days the pain was pretty much gone. Now I'm starting to feel the pinching that I had before, though not as bad as I did before the injections. Before the injections I could not sit down but after them I had no problem. Do these injections only last a couple of weeks? I know I can have another round done but thought it would last me much longer. I really don't want to go through the injections again. They are not the most fun thing to have done. I have another appointment on 2August and I know if I tell my PM Dr. she will want to shoot me up again. I'm not hurting bad enough to go through that again. Just wanted to see how long they have lasted on others and if it would be worth going through it again.

 
Old 07-26-2007, 04:49 PM   #2
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Arthr Itis HB User
Re: Facet Joint Injections

They are frequently used for diagnostic purposes. The fact that they helped you is a good thing. Now the doc knows what the problem might be.

 
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Old 07-26-2007, 07:24 PM   #3
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Re: Facet Joint Injections

Hi! I had the same injections and got relief for a limited period of time. Then I went on to have the pain nerves burned at the facet joints (radio frequency). This lasted for a lot longer (8 months), and I have repeated the procedure. You might ask your doctor about this-it is called RFA (radio frequency ablation) or rhizotomy. Kera4

 
Old 07-27-2007, 06:22 AM   #4
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Re: Facet Joint Injections

Thanks for the responses you two.

Kera: Does the RFA hurt. I'm really a chicken and did not enjoy the injections. But I do know that they did relieve the pain so it's worth a little bit of pain to have next to none. Did you just have the one round of injections and then go on to the RFA? I'll see that my PM Dr. says when I go next week. I'm also on Oxycodone which I only take when I get home from sitting all day at work and it helps tremendously.

 
Old 07-27-2007, 09:47 AM   #5
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Re: Facet Joint Injections

Hi! After the facet injections, my doctor did a "lidocaine test" where he numbed the pain nerves. He said if it took my pain away for a little while, and then it came back, I was a good candidate for RFA. This is exactly what happened, I think this is a double test so they make sure you are a good candidate.

The RFA procedure is no more painful than the injections, but it takes longer. They gave me more sedation than during the injections, but they don't want you totally out of it. After sedation, the doctor will numb you at one level, then put in the probe and ask if you feel the muscle twitch. Once you do, he knows he has the right spot, and he heats up the probe for 90 seconds. Then he will move on to the next level. After the RFA I had 3-4 days where I had to rest and ice a lot. Then it slowly got better over about 3 weeks. I could go about my day, but I had to be careful not to set the muscles off during this time. The whole area is tender for a few weeks. After that I felt a lot better! It is a good idea to do the procedure when your kids are back in school. I have 4 kids, and I know the summers are crazy!

Take care, Kera4

 
Old 07-27-2007, 10:00 AM   #6
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Re: Facet Joint Injections

Kera4,

Thanks for explaining the procedure to me. For me it's nice to know what I am facing rather then go in to it blind. I'll see what my PM Dr. says when I go. She said if this last round of injections worked then she might try one more if I am hurting as bad again. Then I'm sure she will suggest something else, possibly the RFA.

I'm sure this was hard on you with 4 kids. You must be a very strong person. I only have one and she's 23 so she can take care of herself. She has also had problems but in her neck so she knows what I am going through. She had 3 epidurals and after the 3rd one, she is pain free. So she gives me hope that something can be done.

My MRI showed a number of things: My L3 is behind my L2 and my L4 is behind my L3 and between my L4 and L5 I have disc degeneration and a slight herniated disc. And I also have arthritis between the L4 and L5. Not sure what all you had. I really appreciate your help in all of this.

Donna

 
Old 07-27-2007, 01:29 PM   #7
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Re: Facet Joint Injections

I just had radio frequency done on tuesday. It hurt alittle worse than the shots bu only for about 2-3 days. Now it feels good (my dr did c2-c5). My headaches and migraines are gone also...I know the doctor wakes you up during the procedure to ask what you feel (previously posted) but I didnt remember it or what was said at all. The doctor just came in afterward and told me I responded well and was very cooperative. The only thing I didnt like is that my whole body was strapped down (so I dont move unconsciously).
good luck with it!
mel

 
Old 04-20-2010, 02:26 PM   #8
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Re: Facet Joint Injections

Hi Everyone,

This is my first post but the topic is of much interest to me. I just had my second round of facet joint injections at C2-C3 this morning. Prior to that I had numerous trigger point injections with one PM who then referred me to a PM/anesthesiologist for more advanced procedures. I had two rounds of Epidurals and then two of the Facet Joint Injections.

My experience has been about two weeks of relief from all of the procedures and in between times I am in excruciating pain most of the time. I have been on Fentanyl patches which don't seem to work very well and have Percocet (7.5/325) for the worst times. Also, have bunch of other meds which are taken rarely as they are not particularly effective.

Bottom line, I was just notified that I am scheduled for the RFA on Friday (moved up from May 21st so I guess the Doc realizes the extent of my pain). What bothers me the most is the length of time it takes to recover from this procedure. I am out of work today with the after results of the FJI, have missed quite a bit due to flareups and hate to miss any more work. At least the RFA is on a Friday so I have the weekend but from what I read, it takes longer than a few days. My job is extremely stressful with a non-sympathetic boss.

I am prepared for this RFA as I am willing to do almost anything for this chronic pain and the resultant depression which is wreaking havoc on my life. I have been living with chronic neck pain for 20 years but just became proactive again after the initial round of doctors, tests, med, etc. I will say that we have come a long way in the last 20 years.

Sorry this is so long. Guess since it was my first post I had a lot to say! Now it is time to go back to bed. Thanks for listening. I don't think there is much anyone can say unless they can lift my spirits by indicating they didn't have a long recovery period.

Lynn

 
Old 04-21-2010, 01:24 AM   #9
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Myofascial Pain HB UserMyofascial Pain HB User
Re: Facet Joint Injections

[QUOTE=kera4;3122300]Hi! After the facet injections, my doctor did a "lidocaine test" where he numbed the pain nerves. He said if it took my pain away for a little while, and then it came back, I was a good candidate for RFA. This is exactly what happened, I think this is a double test so they make sure you are a good candidate.

The RFA procedure is no more painful than the injections, but it takes longer. They gave me more sedation than during the injections, but they don't want you totally out of it. After sedation, the doctor will numb you at one level, then put in the probe and ask if you feel the muscle twitch. Once you do, he knows he has the right spot, and he heats up the probe for 90 seconds. Then he will move on to the next level. After the RFA I had 3-4 days where I had to rest and ice a lot. Then it slowly got better over about 3 weeks. I could go about my day, but I had to be careful not to set the muscles off during this time. The whole area is tender for a few weeks. After that I felt a lot better! It is a good idea to do the procedure when your kids are back in school. I have 4 kids, and I know the summers are crazy!

Take care, Kera4[/QUOTE]

Basal Branch Nerve Blocks aka Facet injections last about a month.. RFA's last about a year. Typically they do 2 series of BBNBs a month apart to see if you are a candidate for RFAs, since they are time consuming and expensive. I've had all 4 quadrants of my back done with RFAs each session took 90 mins. Acutally its a bit more complex. First they match the frequency of the pain signal so it negates it, then they increase the amplitude until its numb but before it burns... At least that's how they did it with me... I wasn't sedated so I provided feedback for them to fine tune the procedure. Also they want to make sure they are hitting a sensory branch and not a motor branch hence the inability to fully sedate you.

~Myo

 
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