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Epidural versus facet joint

Robyn c5c6RRobyn c5c6 Posts: 18
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Spinal Injections
Has anyone had both of these procedures done? Just wondering how they differ (I am assuming they are very similar) I have had 2 cervical epidurals, each provided about a day of relief. Now the dr wants to try a facet joint injection. She said it is not as risky as the epidural, but I am just a little nervous. Thanks for any input.


  • I've had both, although they were both lumbar. Yes, they're very similar - just make sure it's under fluoroscopy, like I assume your ESI was.

    I hope it bring you relief. What problems are you having? Disc and facet? Stenosis? What does your doc say is happening in there?

    Take care,

  • I am interested to hear the answer to your question too.

    Did the fact that you only got one day relief from your cervical epidurals indicate that they had not been successful. Perhaps they want to try facet joint injections to see if that will relieve the pain. Maybe that will tell them what the pain generator is.

    I am waiting for my first Pain Management appointment, so am interested to hear of others' experiences.

    Hopefully they will find something that will give you long term relief. :-)

  • large c5/c6 herniation, which is where I had the two epidurals. Had complete relief for a day or so and that was about it.. So the doc wants to try a different kind of injection this time. Recent T spine mri showed 6 small herniations (no wonder the physical therapy i've been going for since Nov hasnt helped! ugh!) Also, some spinal stenosis, disc desiccation and degeneration...
  • Robyn,

    Honestly, I would say it all depends on how messed up your back/facet is. Prior to my back surgery, nothing short of being knocked out gave me any pain relief. And that included various ESI's, (facet, coital, etc) and RFA.

    Now almost 3 years since surgery my PM has had great success in controlling my back pain caused by almost no disk (L5/S1) and a rotated vertebrae (L5) with facet injections, and ultimately RFA.

    Headed in for yet another facet block on 9/12/11, to see if we can still control the pain via facet injections and/or RFA.

    Hoping they can somehow solve your pain problems.

    View my history for all the gory details.
  • Well I had it done on Friday. The facet joint injection was a similar procedure to the epidural, but took less time. It was quite a bit more painful, however, I felt the pain and pressure and was a lot more sore afterwards.. In fact, I am still very sore. Glad its done and hope it helps.

  • for reporting back.

    Still sore 5 days after the injection? I do hope that your soreness will go soon and that you will then start to feel the relief.

    Do let us know how you get on. :-)

  • I am also under a lot of stress lately with wedding planning and a new job, so the stress is definitely making things worse. Saw the doc today and he added Cymbalta and Voltaren gel to my treatment.

  • Stress does definately make the pain flare up worse.

    Some nice relaxing evenings are called for! ;) (|: I)

  • :) well, with the hurriane weather coming, I might be stuck in the house for while. maybe i should stock up on some nice bottles of wine :)
  • :) well, with the hurriane weather coming, I might be stuck in the house for while. maybe i should stock up on some nice bottles of wine :)
  • i don't know how they compare for neck vs back, but I had two facets in my l4/l5 and l5/s1 and was told they were nothing more than a good diagnostic aid. I did get relief for about 10 days, but then it returned. That DR wanted to do a nerve burn but I passed on that, not cool with dr's playing with my electrical system. The LESI has been successful to me in the past and I just had another today, we'll see how it goes. Anything is better than nothing at this point!

    Good Luck
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