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Facet Joint Injection


There are two facet joints (one on each side) between every vertebra. Each vertebra is like a tripod with the front of the vertebra resting on the disc and the back part of the vertebra resting on the two facets. The facet joints can develop arthritis like any other joint in the body. Arthritis can occur from trauma, such as with a whiplash injury causing cervical facet arthritis. However, most often facet arthritis is seen in the lower lumbar segments, which bears most of the weight. Injection of the facet requires use of x-ray. The injectate is again a local anesthetic/steroid combination. As with most steroid injections, if the initial injection is helpful, a series of two to three injections may be done.