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Lumbar Facet Block

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

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

Vertebral Column

HOW TO PREPARE:

The week before your procedure:

  • Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for your procedure. Arrange to have someone drive you home after the procedure.
  • Tell your provider about all the medicines you currently take. He or she will tell you if you need to stop any medicine before the procedure, and when to stop. He or she will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your procedure.
  • You may need blood or urine tests before your procedure. You may also need x-rays, a CT scan, or an MRI. Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious damage. Tell the provider if you have any metal in or on your body.

The night before your procedure:

You may be told not to eat or drink anything after midnight.

The day of your procedure:

  • Take only the medicines your healthcare provider told you to take.
  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives healthcare providers 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.
  • Healthcare providers 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 healthcare providers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN:

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 contrast liquid with an x-ray or CT to help guide the needle. He or she will inject medicines, such as steroids, to decrease inflammation.

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. Your provider may have you move the area to see if you still have pain. You may then be able to go home.

CONTACT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IF:

  • You have a fever, a cold, or the flu.
  • You have questions or concerns about your procedure.

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.

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 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.

Learn more about Lumbar Facet Block (Precare)

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Further information

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