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facet injection 1st timer

Luis62LLuis62 Posts: 49
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Lower Back Pain
going on the 14th,jan. do they hurt? when i had the ESI had two of them they hurt like h*ll. i told my PM doctor that he needed to knock me out.


  • Probably each person has a different reaction. In my case, I would say that the experience is similar. Some doctors have better technique than others. Some days it just hurts more than at other times....

    Good luck. Hope it helps.
  • Mine did not hurt very much. But like the other poster said, a lot has to do with the Doctor's technique and how gentle they are,so hopefully your Doctor will be one with really good technique and it will be a piece of cake. Good luck to you,

  • I had 3 sets of 8 FJIs spaced 2 weeks apart. Just the thought of them made me more nervous but once I had them I felt better. The anticipation of something of discomfort can be scary for sure. I found the last set less painful. I hope you take a sedative and pain med an hour before the procedure if no sedation is given. I don't know how many levels you're Dr. will be doing but 8 seemed a lot to me. I'm awaiting a PM Clinic at a hospital since I benefited from the fji's and they don't do RFA at the clinic. I was hoping ablation would help me instead of frequent injections. I would've tried anything at the time to be in less pain and they did help. Take care. Charry

    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • They can hurt a bit, mainly the injection for the local, so take a pain killer beforehand.
    It's more of an uncomfortable feeling, and while not pleasant is over quickly.
    Close your eyes and think of England, as they used to say.
    Anything is probably better than the pain you have anyway, so keep in mind that it will be worth it.
  • I had 1 set of 4 and 1 set of 5 2 weeks apart in Sept 09. The first 4 were bearable, the 2nd set almost completely unbearable, my dr kept saying he was sorry etc, but that did'nt help my pain much. He did say he was doing some extras in a certain area, near L4/5 so I am sure that is what caused the extra pain. He immediately made me comfortable when finished, I hope your Dr is quick and compassionate and be SURE to let him know how apprehensive you are. He may be able to provide light sedation.

    Best of Luck,
  • but everyone is different, try taking deep breaths and stay calm, easily said i know.
    a nurse held my hand all the way through and talked to me, takes your mind off it a bit and helps focus on something else.
    all the best and let us know how it goes
  • to my pm doctor yesterday and he said to tell the nurse to sedate me, well will see if they do it last time i was there for my ESI thay said they don't do that there.
  • I switched PM doctors and they do not believe in sedation either. He talks a lot to me while doing procedures and wants the feedback. I must say I get better results from him than I did from the guy who used conscious sedation. Perhaps it is just a coincidence...but I'm not so sure.

    Remember, it doesn't take long if you're just having one.
  • I had one done and it really hurt me. But, I have come to discover, that was mostly because they did not use x-ray guidance. They just felt around in the area and injected me where they thought it hurt. I have told a couple of surgeons about this and they seemed horrified. I guess this is a pretty archaic method, though it was done only 2 years ago.

    The next time I went in they gave me a mild "cocktail" of drugs to relax me. That and the fact that my second PM doctor used x-ray guidance seemed to help a lot. Hopefully your doctor is using this method?

    Anyway, I know what it's like when they hit nerves (and it is horrible). Hope it is a relatively pain-free experience for you.
  • Yes-that is when it gets a bit uncomfortable. When the nerves are irritated.
    It's all coming back now!!!
    Much the same as dental work.
  • it went ok he gave me a light sedation i was still awake.when he did the right side thats the one i felt the most and now that the side i feel a sharp pain on. my left leg still hurts at the end of the day after work. i go see him wed. 20th for follow up.i wounder if his going to want to do them agian?
  • I'm glad the injections went well. I had 3 sets spaced 2 weeks apart. I guess it depends on how they work for you. I hope they help you have less pain. The injections helped my pain and movement. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • to soon to have RFA, i just had FJI'S on the 14th
    they didn't work, so now on the 28th Doc. wants to do RFA.
  • I have had about 9 sets of these, with varing success.
    There was immediate relief, but became sore again fairly soon.
    Effects totally gone after 6 weeks.
    Now, several years after starting on them, I think I understand what was happening.
    The injections were treating the inflammation around the facets, but not the chronic but undiagnosed muscle pain.
    So the temporary relief was rapidly overtaken by the muscle soreness and headaches.
    The injections were never going to be the solution, but we didn't know that then.
    A new pain doctor diagnosed the muscle problem, and after 9 months of massage therapy the muscle pain is well under control and is not normally a problem unless I overdo it (like typing too much).
    So much so that I was able to discern the neck pain from the joints, whereas before it was just "pain."
    I have started taking Neurontin for this pain and it seems to be working well.
    So with the two treatments I have my pain under reasonable control.
    It'll always be with me, but I can now manage it much better.
    My point in all this is that you may need a multi-facet approach for your pain treatment, including, drugs, diet, exercise, massage, posture, relaxation, bedding and pillows, etc.
    Each little thing plays a part.
  • in tomorrow the 28th for RFA.
  • I had a facets done twice they don't feel good. Hate to say I would rather get a epidural then a facet injection. Just from my experience. Everybody is different and may have better experiences and same with the doctors technique. ;)
  • have some slight pain on my legs i had the RFA done thursday the 28th how long before i'm pain free?
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