Lumbar Facet Joint Block

  • In order to block one or more of the small joints that run along the edges of each vertebra on both sides of the spine in the lower region of the back, a local anesthetic (numbing medication) is injected into one or more of the joints. 
  • Depending on how many joints are involved, many injections may be administered. 
  • Patients who suffer from mechanical low back pain or arthritic changes in the facet joints frequently request facet joint blocks.


Facet joint injections are frequently used to treat and diagnose facet joint discomfort (also referred to as lumbar spondylosis or zygapophyseal joint pain)

  • Chronic low back pain
  • Intractable neck pain
  • Low back pain with normal imaging
  • Whiplash-related neck pain
  • Post-laminectomy syndrome without signs of arachnoiditis or recurrent disc disease
  • Rupture of the synovial cyst in the facet joint 
  • Vertebral compression fracture
  • Symptomatic spondylolysis


  • Image-guided facet joint injection complications are quite uncommon. 
  • These include intrathecal injection, epidural abscess, meningitis, pneumothorax, hematoma, excessive bleeding, nerve root irritation, vasovagal reactions, facet capsule rupture, psoas abscess, dural puncture, vertebral artery damage (reported in cervical injections), and phrenic nerve palsy (reported in cervical injections). 

Sacro Iliac Joint

Lumbar Facet Joint

L5 Dorsa Ramus

Facet Joint Opening

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and Interesting Articles

  • Le DT, Alem N. Facet Joint Injection. [Updated 2022 Jun 27]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from:
  • Peh W. Image-guided facet joint injection. Biomed Imaging Interv J. 2011 Jan-Mar;7(1):e4. doi: 10.2349/biij.7.1.e4. Epub 2011 Jan 1. PMID: 21655113; PMCID: PMC3107686.
  • Kim BR, Lee JW, Lee E, Kang Y, Ahn JM, Kang HS. Intra-articular facet joint steroid injection-related adverse events encountered during 11,980 procedures. Eur Radiol. 2020 Mar;30(3):1507-1516. doi: 10.1007/s00330-019-06483-3. Epub 2019 Nov 11. PMID: 31712959.


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