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L4-L5 Facet Joint Injections

outofcontrolooutofcontrol Posts: 264
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:53 AM in Spinal Injections
Hi all!!

I am going this week for L4-L5 facet joint injections.

I have had transforaminal injections, but never facet joint injections. The doc is using the short acting anesthetic, and steroids.

I have some questions and hope that someone can give me a little guidance!

1. I was told to not take my normal pain meds the morning of the injections. I am assuming that this is standard procedure and that there is a reason for doing this.

2. How should I expect to feel the day of the injections? Some info says that weakness and numbness in your legs is normal, some info says it is not.

3. Should I plan on coming home and resting (bedrest) that day, or should I plan on just coming home and just not doing too much?

I go to the doctor/hospital of "Get your own Information, or if we do give you information, it might be Conflicting Information!" A friend of mine was told to go home and do her normal activities but her right leg wouldn't support her weight. (The discharge nurse was the one who told her that, and this poor friend was in a total state of panic. When she called her doc, he told her to lie down and take it easy.)

I am praying for this to work, and want to be sure I do the right thing. I would like to hear from someone who has "been there."



  • I never had a PM Dr. say not to take meds unless they plan on giving you sedation? I also took it easy and iced for 3 days afterwards. Not sure if the Dr. is doing a diagnostic injection to see if that eliminates your pain either to see if that's where your pain center is?

    I know you need a ride home after any injections sedation or not. You should bring your pain meds just in case you need them to get home and tell your Dr. you're taking them after if they don't give any sedation and a pain med. They're a little uncomfortable but I usually got relief after a few days up to 3 weeks because the steroid takes time to work. Best wishes. 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 FJIs and I'm assuming they don't want you to take your medications so they can see how well the injections work.

    Each person seems to feel differently after their injections and I, personally, just felt a little uncomfortable with my legs feeling a bit wobbly.

    As for the resting, absolutely for that day and really, three days of not much moving would be the best. That gives the meds the best chance to seep into the area without dispersing throughout the rest of your body, getting you the most relief.

    Good luck and let us know how you do.
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  • hi i went to see a pain management doctor y/day and hes booked me into hospital this monday coming, iv'e suffered from siatica for over 12 months now and the pain is extreme and there every day, ive tried loads of diff meds but none seem to work , so hes opted for a epidural, i had xrays 2 weeks ago and have been told i also av facet ostreoarthritis and osteophytes ( extra projection of new bones that shouldnt be there) i also have L4 /L5 disc narrowing, im now waiting to av mri scans. i have 2 be in hospital for 8am n he told me if all goes well i can go home after lunch, will i be able to do general things like short walks ect or is there any side affects after the epidural, do i need rest for that day or a few days? many thanks marian
  • Thank you so much for your info and suggestions. I just want to be sure I do the right thing and I am praying that these work.
  • I have been taking it easy and am praying that this continues to help!!
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  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I'm glad things are going good. Hope it continues. Please keep us updated on your progress. I've never had FJIs and am interested in how much it helps.

    Take it easy as long as you can. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!

  • I have been getting these done for years and find that they do help but only short term. If you do get good relief from them you may want to talk to your doc about a rhizotomy (nerve burn) which will last much longer. Good luck.
  • I have had both. Also cortisone injections with a flouroscope. I don't have a lot of luck with any of them. Everyone is different. I just had several steroid injections today since I am still in a lot of pain 11 weeks post surgery on my 3rd fusion. I still keep trying hoping that one of these times something will work!!


    Spinal stenosis, spondolysis, spondolythesis, L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion with instrumentation and bone graft from hip, L1/S1 fusion with replacement disc put in and a nice bolt from my spine to my pelvis; PT, accupuncture, prolotherapy, many cortisone injections, 4 rhizotomies. Currently on tramadol.
    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • Donna,
    I've had 4 facet joint injections, 2 on each side, at L4/L5 & L5/S1. I'm not sure why your doc would tell you not to take your pain meds day of the injections unless like others stated it's because he wants to give you something intravenously. After reading several people's posts here I'm figuring out that my PM does things a little differently because I've never been offered anything for anxiety or pain prior to or during any procedures he's done on me. The one piece of advice I would give you is that if you cannot tolerate the pain during the injections make sure you say so to your PM so he can give you more lidocaine. I have found FJIs to be very painful, but I also have a low tolerance for pain. I've always driven myself home afterwards but taken it easy for the remainder of the day. Not full bedrest, but just take a nap when you get home and don't do any spring cleaning that day. :) Good luck!

    Bulging discs at L4/L5, L5/S1, and C3/C4; Lumbar Spondylosis; Cervical DDD; Cervical Osteophytes; Kyphosis; Scoliosis
  • I am still feeling good, and it has been almost three weeks. The back pain to the left side of my spine has decreased tremendously. I still have pain in the center of my back, more noticible now that the left sided pain has decreased, but I feel so much better than before the injections. The PM doc feels that the centralized low back pain is related to the hardware.
    My pain doc does use sedation for the injections--in fact, I do not remember anything until recovery!! I guess I should count myself fortunate! Some of the comments I have read about receiving the injections while awake are downright scary! Not sure how BRAVE I would be!!
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