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Cervical Facet Block


A cervical facet block is a procedure to inject medicine at the facet joints in your cervical (neck) spine. Facet joints are found at the back of each vertebrae (bones).


Before your procedure:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • Local anesthesia is medicine injected into the skin. It is used to numb the area and dull your pain during your procedure. You may still feel pressure or pushing during the procedure.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

During your procedure:

You will be asked to lie on your stomach, with your head and body slightly turned to the side. A thin needle will be inserted near your cervical spine and into the facet joint. Your healthcare provider will use an x-ray with dye or a CT scan to help guide the needle. He will place the needle tip inside or just outside the facet joint and inject the medicine. The medicine may include steroids and anesthesia. Your healthcare provider may inject medicine into more than one problem area. Bandages are placed over the areas where the needles were inserted.

After your procedure:

You will be taken to a recovery room to rest. Healthcare providers will watch you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. When healthcare providers see that you are okay, you may be allowed to go home. If you are staying in the hospital, you will taken to your room. The bandages keep the area clean and dry to prevent infection. A healthcare provider may remove the bandages soon after your procedure to check the injection sites.

  • Medicines:
    • Antibiotics help treat or prevent an infection.
    • Medicines to treat pain, swelling, or fever are safe for most people to use. However, they can cause serious problems in people with certain medical conditions. Tell healthcare providers if you have liver or kidney disease or a history of bleeding in your stomach.


You may have bleeding at the site of the injection. You may also develop an infection. Nerves, blood vessels, ligaments, muscles, and bones near your spine may be damaged. The medicine may spread past the facet joint and cause numbness in other areas. You may have trouble breathing. Even after you have this procedure, you may still have shoulder or back pain. Without this procedure, your symptoms will continue and may get worse.


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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.