Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Just curious: Facet Joint Inj--how many needles and did you have...

blackberrybunnybblackberrybunny Posts: 157
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in Pain Management
Just wondering how many needles YOU had stuck in you if you had the FJI done and did you have to have both sides of your spine done at the same time?

It was too painful for me to get through, so I was only able to do the left side. I had 4 needles in that side, which would have menat a total of 8 if I could have handled it, which apparently, I could not.


  • I had 8 FJI's 4 on each side 3x for 3 months. I only had 3 my last Dr. visit and I felt very little pain this time 2 years later. Maybe your really swollen and your nerves and it's so painful for you. I hope next week is better for you and you get some relief. Take pain medication and a sedative before hand and get someone to drive you home. Wishing you a better time of it next week. 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
  • Also, it is so much worse if you're very tense and anxious. Most PM doctors have procedures that allow sedatives for needle anxious patients!

    Did you call the office yet? I really think you need to figure out whether this is the right doctor for you- eliminate the harvard issue from your mind. If you can't communicate with him, he just might not be.

    But I'd give it another try, see if you can discuss it with the PA.

    FWIW, I have a lot of relatives with heavy Chinese accents and believe it or not, just like people without accents, some are much easier to communicate with than others ;) My father in law is the worst, I can't figure out what he's talking about half the time! He's been here 45 years :) On the other hand, I have an aunt who is really easy to talk to, even though her accent is still heavy.
  • Charry, 8 needles three times for three months? OMG I think I feel faint! Are you serious? Did you feel relief right away, or did the pain come back a couple of hours after your fji's?

    You know what? That discogram I had was so much easier........ But he had me hooked up to an IV and get me a sedative, although I was shaking so hard and so tense they had to keep giving me more and more, at least 4 or 5 times! He only injected three discs, and the first one was the good disc, the control disc, no pain, but the other 2, the suspected ones that had torn, oh yesss indeeed, they HURT, but that was it, that was 3 needles and it was over!! This FJI I just couldn't get through! I don't know WHY he didn't hook me up to an IV and all.... He gave me a prescription for next week, for 3 1mg Ativan. I am very tolerant to meds and require more than usual. I asked him, "Do I take all three before I come in?" LOL And I meant it, cause I have taken 3 before and I am SURE this is not going to help much........... lol

    Anyways, why he didn't hook me up is a mystery. I guess this was supposed to be such an easy test, but I couldn't take it.

    Hi HappyMom,
    I called and canceled my appointment for next week, explaining to them that I needed more time, that it went badly this past week, and I want to go and talk to my regular dr. first, besides I was supposed to have an echocardiogram on my heart yesterday, but I had to cancel it, as I am legally blind and cannot drive. When my pain dr. was doing the FJI's, my heart rate was really getting up there. He kept mentioning it, and I could hear it beep beep beep!! ing on the machine, making me even more anxious.

    Thanks for all your help, you guys! I sure appreciate it.

    Oh yes, but someone, before I forget, please tell me---when you have the FJI's, do you HAVE to have BOTH sides done at the same time? And what is the reason for this?
  • I just had 3 FJI's done on the one side same side I have more pain and sciatica down that side of the leg on the left side so yes only one side but she also did the epidural and 2 sides SI injections 3 weeks ago.

    I had a little relief after my first 3 sets of FJI's but mainly I was able to move better like I had more flexibility and had less pain while getting up in the morning but used the log-rolling and still do to get up to save pressure on the facet joints.
    Log roll to the edge of the bed without lifting your hips. The arm underneath you should be drawn up slowly to assist you to get up from the bed. Maybe someone else can explain that illustration better...

    After the first 3 sets of 8 FJI's by one PM Dr. I said no more injections! This was last year. But now this year I've found a new PM Dr. and just had those 3 fji' s on one side and the epidural and SI injections and she's so gentle. I won't go to any other PM Dr. now but hopefully the next 2 months goes so well. Best wishes when you're ready for your next appointment. 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
  • I've had 2 sets of 3 injections so far, but only on one side. My pm said he doesn't do both sides at the same time, he wanted to see if it would help on the worse side first. Anyways, the next step for me is to get an RFA on the side he's been working on. Needles themselves don't bother me in general, actually, I go every week to get injections of just anesthesia, 3 injections on each side. The FJIs were painful, but I do my breathing exercises, and go to my happy place, lol. Actually the first time I got the FJI, I asked if they could position me so that I could see the flouroscopy imaging, maybe not such a good idea if you don't like needles, but it was interesting to watch the procedure for me, and kept my mind occupied. Yes, the injections are painful, but I focus on the fact that I get enough relief that I get a much needed, good deep sleep for a couple of hours. But I know, it must be a bit traumatizing if you don't like needles to begin with. Maybe he can give you the type of anesthetic that doesn't put you completely out, but you don't remember the procedure (I can't remember the name right now). You might want to ask about that? Anyways, good luck, and I hope you find the strength that is within you to make the appointment soon, as it may help. How did it go with the injections that you did get? Did it help any?
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Hi! I had fji done yesterday for the first time. They were cervical facet joint injections done on both sides of the neck but I'm not sure how many needles were used. I'm sure they told me but I don't remember they put me out with light sedation for the preocedure so I didn't feel a thing. Unfortunately, didn't get any relief at all which means this was not the area my pain is coming from even though a lot of damage in this area on MRI. Have to follow up with PM doc in two weeks and back to drawing board. Other than cervical and lumbar problems I also have fibromyalgia, radiculopathy. Due to hyperreflexia in lower legs neurologist wants me to have thoracic MRI to rule out spinal cord lesion. Could have some type of myelitis, MS, or other autoimmune disorder in addition to other problems. Also have HTN, fatty liver, high cholesterol and gained 30 lbs in 2 years. Recently developed the fatty liver and high cholesterol. Also was diagnosed with GERD by GI doctor. So now I'm seeing rheumatologist, neurologist, gastroenterologist, pain management doc, orthopedic surgeon. All trying to put my puzzle together.
    Hang in there everyone!!
  • That "Versed" or "Versett" not sure how to spell it, the 'twilight' medicine is a bunch of baloney to me. It does NOT work for me. They kept having to inject me through my IV like 4 or 5 gimes during the Discogram, and that was 11 months ago, and believe me, to this day I CAN remember ALL of the hoorible details.

    SO I've got to Ativan to take, hahaha. Only 3. It'll take 3 of them and something else probably.

    Today it is actually 4 days later than my FJI's and I am actually hurting MORE now than I was before I even went in there.
  • Charry, thanks for the tip about log rolling. I think the technique you are talking about is pretty much what I have been doing. But here also is something that helped me a LOT about getting out of bed in the mornings---I bought some of those bed risers! You put one under each foot of the bed, and it raises it about 6 inches higher. So now when I make it to the edge of the bed, I am already so high up enough that it's so so so much easier to stand up. Ohhh you wouldn't believe HOW that made a difference. Plus, I've got tons more room under the bed now to hide stuff, LOL!

    The bed risers worked so well that I bought a set for my couch also! OMG, what a difference!!! They are about $12 a set I guess at a place like Linens-n-things (or did they just close down)---well you know, probably walmart has them also. I actually bid and got mine on ebay, because I cannot see to drive, I get a lot of what I need on ebay. I got mine for about $10 a set shipped, but it took several auctions to win them at those good prices. One set is squared, and the other is round. They kinda look like upside down flower pots, haha. You can get them in white, black, and brown. Mine are black.

    A big difference, you guys- I highly suggest getting some for anybody who has back problems, especially when getting up from the couch or bed! :-)
  • BBB, you know some people have a physical reaction to needles called a "vasovagal episode." It's unpleasant for sure.

    If you're having these feelings, you really should ask about a sedative. Don't feel bad, it's not your fault!

    My daughter recently started having these, if you even talk to her about needles she starts to feel sick!

  • Yes, I have the same problem with it. They used it when I had my 3 wisdom teeth extracted. The one was impacted, and even though they kept administering it, and promised that I wouldn't remember a thing, I still remember every single excruciating second of it, and that was 3 years ago!!! I finally just was able to go back to the dentist to get a cleaning this year, lol. It's a good thing that my teeth are in excellent condition...
    The injections can irritate the nerves, and can cause more pain for a few days after, so that may be normal for you. If you look under injections on the treatment tab, it gives more info. Anyways, I wish you luck!!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • p.s. Do they usually use a hypnotic? I'm surprised. I'd think a hefty dose of xanax would do the trick, but what do I know?
  • When I had the Discogram done, they hooked me to an IV, gave me fluids, anti-b's,. and verset (versed?) the one that makes you "forget" hahahah, what a joke!

    So when I went in for the FJI's, I figured it's be like an epi, no big deal. I had no idea it was going to be so awful! So I don't know WHY he didn't hook me up to the IV this time. And we quit halfway through it and he says he's going to give me a script for THREE Ativan to take before I come back so we can do this test again. I still don't know WHY he won't hook me up to the IV, when he did it before....But I can tell you, I am NOT going to get any anxiety relief from his 3 ativans!

    And I don't have problems with the needles, heck, I've had my tongue pierced, my septum in my nostrils pierced, other places, and 8 tattoos, so it's not the needle part that I am having a problem with. It's the pain he is creating when he is torturing me! LOL
  • What I'm saying is that now that you have the negative experience, your body is going to respond even worse.

    3 ativans isn't going to help? Damn, I'd be a puddle on the floor! I really prefer xanax, though.
  • an epidural .so after the large amount of sedation went i i just has 3 local injections and the epidural {it did not work due to all the artritis } but the last time i had facet joint injections i had the sedation the 8 local injections to numb the area then another 8 on the joints themselves ..yet again it did not work !{i am no longer a candidate for injections on the spine]
    tony x
  • I only had 3 levels done, on one side- so 3 needles for the local and then 3 for the actual injection. The only ones that were really painful were the first local and the last injection.
  • Oh yikes, so it's like double the amount of needles, OWWW

    PS--- Straker, I'll reply to your PM ASAP, gotta get dinner going.
Sign In or Register to comment.