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Brighton Hospital

Warren Road, Brighton, BN2 6DX

01273 624488
Switchboard 01273 624488
General enquiries 01273 627 007
Inpatient appointments 01273 627000
To book an appointment (outpatients) 01273 627008
Patient Ward 01273 681798

Why choose Nuffield Health Brighton Hospital for your facet joint injections?

At Nuffield Health Brighton Hospital our expert orthopaedic surgeons regularly perform facet joint injections for patients suffering from spinal problems and spinal osteoarthritis. We are able to provide rapid access to treatment, ensuring a prompt end to spinal pain and discomfort.

To ensure the highest level of clinical care, our skilled consultants are fully supported by our attentive matron-led nursing team, who are dedicated to your care and wellbeing during your hospital stay.

We pride ourselves on patient experience and our private patient rooms do not disappoint. Each room is clean and modern, fully equipped with Wi-Fi, a flatscreen TV and personal en-suite bathroom facilities. (The views over the beautiful Sussex countryside are not bad either!)

What is a facet joint?

  • Your spine is made up of a column of bones called vertebrae
  • The vertebrae are joined together by small facet joints and spongy discs that sit between your vertebrae
  • Facet joints help to stabilise your spine
  • As you get older wear and tear (osteoarthritis) in your facet joints can cause pain
  • Often the pain is in another area of your body such as your thigh, buttocks or neck
  • A facet joint injection is a diagnostic tool to help your consultant confirm that your pain is caused by your wear and tear of your facet joints.

What happens during an x-ray guided facet joint injection at Brighton Hospital?

  • A facet joint injection usually takes less than 30 minutes and is performed using local anaesthetic
  • A small drip (called a cannula) may be inserted in the back of your hand so that we can give you drugs immediately should you feel unwell. The needle is very fine so you may not feel a thing when it is inserted
  • An antiseptic will be used to clean the area and a local anaesthetic will be injected
  • Once we confirm the area is numb, your consultant will carefully insert the needle for your injection. They may inject a dye (colourless contrast fluid) and take an x-ray to confirm the needle is in the right position
  • Sometimes an ultrasound scanner is used to help guide the needle
  • You may feel some pressure in the injection area or along a nerve. This is usually temporary
  • We will monitor you carefully during the injection.

Going home after x-ray guided facet joint injection

  • You should be able to go home shortly after your injection
  • You will not be able to drive so please arrange for someone to take you home
  • You should rest if you feel tired
  • Do not walk long distances, drive, operate machinery (including cooking) until you have fully recovered feeling, movement and coordination
  • You should be able to return to normal daily activities the day after your injection
  • Keep a record of your pain levels so that your consultant can plan your pain management programme or follow-up treatment.

Most people make a good recovery from facet joint injections. As with any medical procedure there could be complications including:

  • Failure of the injection to relieve your pain
  • Worsening pain
  • Backache or feeling bruised
  • Allergic reaction to local anaesthetic.

Rare complications could include:

  • Seizures
  • Injection
  • Nerve injury (short or long term)
  • Blood clots.

If you are unsure whether facet joint injections are the right solution for you, or if you have some important questions, you can always attend one of our free orthopaedic open events to meet our orthopaedic surgeons and find out more.

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