Lumbar Facet Block

What you should know

A lumbar facet block is a procedure used to decrease inflammation in your spine. Medicines are injected at facet joints in your lower back. Facet joints are found at the back of each vertebrae.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

Risks

You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Nerves, blood vessels, or muscles may be damaged. You may have numbness in other areas. You may still have lower back or leg pain.

Getting Ready

The week before your procedure:

  • Write down the correct date, time, and location of your procedure.

  • Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.

  • Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.

  • Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.

  • You may need blood or urine tests before your procedure. You may also need x-rays, a CT scan, or an MRI. Talk to your healthcare provider about these or other tests you may need. Write down the date, time, and location for each test.

The night before your procedure:

  • You may be given medicine to help you sleep.

  • Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.

The day of your procedure:

  • Ask your caregiver before taking any medicine on the day of your procedure. These medicines include insulin, diabetic pills, high blood pressure pills, or heart pills. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital.

  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.

  • Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.

  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell caregivers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.

Treatment

What will happen:

You will lie on your stomach, with your body slightly turned to the side. A pillow may be placed under your abdomen, or you may be asked to bend one or both knees. A needle will be inserted into the facet joint in your lower back. Your surgeon may use dye with an x-ray or CT to help guide the needle. He will inject medicines, such as steroids, to decrease inflammation. He will remove the needle and cover the injection area with a small bandage.

After your procedure:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. You will be monitored closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. You will then be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room.

Contact a caregiver if

  • You cannot make it to your procedure.

  • You have a fever.

  • You get a cold or the flu.

  • You have questions or concerns about your procedure.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • Your symptoms get worse.

  • You have severe pain or discomfort.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Lumbar Facet Block (Precare)

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