Guidelines: Facet Joint Injections


a) Diagnostically to determine the spinal level prior to radiofrequency neurolysis or sometimes prior to lumbar disk replacement
b) Temporary therapeutic effect for facet pain.


a) Failure of full conservative treatment including:

- Analgesics
- Anti Inflammatory agents
- Adapting level of activity
- Physiotherapy / Chiropractic treatment

b) Significant non-responsive pain for more than 4 - 6 weeks

Contra Indications:

a) General medical conditions - e.g. allergy to agents used, bleeding disorder or anticoagulants
b) Substance abuse
c) Untreated psychiatric illness


a) Appropriate clinical level
b) Adjacent levels if not certain of clinical level - e.g.. Left L4/5, L5/S1

Locations / Logistics:

a) In procedure room in radiology department or theatre
b) Appropriate Radiological control (could include CT scan)
c) Sterile conditions
d) Local anaesthetics or neurolept anaesthesia
e) Suitably qualified practitioner

Last reviewed May 2011

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