What is a Facet Joint Injection?


A Facet Joint Injection is an injection of local anaesthetic and/or steroid into the Facet Joints, which are located between the vertebral bones of the spine. The injection is usually done to alleviate pain. Commonly, Facet Joint Injections are made into the cervical or lumbar facet joints. Cervical facet joints are located on the back or side of the neck and lumbar facet joints are in the lower back. Pain caused by cervical facet joints is usually felt in the head, neck, shoulder or arm. Pain cause by lumbar facet joints (in the lower spine) is typically felt in the lower back, hip, buttock or leg.

Please inform the booking staff if you are on Warfarin, Plavix, or any other blood thinning agents, or have any other medication allergies.

Facet Joint Injection

What happens during a Facet Joint Injection?

A. Before your scan

What to bring

  • Your request form
  • Any relevant previous imaging
  • Your Medicare card and any concession cards

Preparation – In the week before your scan

You must advise us of any blood-thinning medication your are taking such as Aspirin, Warfarin, Plavix or Iscover and stop taking it for a period of time before your treatment. Please contact us for advice.

Preparation – On the day of the scan

You will be asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding your health status, medication, and any known allergies. If there is any chance you may be pregnant, please inform us before your scan. You may also be asked to change into a gown and remove some jewellery for your scan.

B. During your Facet Joint Injection


When you are transferred to the CT room you will be made comfortable on the examination table. The examination table slides you into the centre of the CT machine and some preliminary pictures are taken to confirm the scan position and the area of needle entry marked on your skin.

The skin above the facet joint will be washed with antiseptic and a local anaesthetic may be injected. A fine needle is then inserted, guided into position using CT control and once satisfactorily positioned the solution will be injected.

Your procedure will take about 20 minutes.

Risks and side effects

CT-guided Facet Joint Injection is a very low risk procedure. Find out about CT Risks and Side Effects.

Other risks associated with this procedure include:

  • Infection is rare but may involve redness or swelling and increased joint pain, usually after 48 hours. Superficial infection is the most common form and responds rapidly to antibiotics; joint infection is extremely rare, but can be severe and result in permanent joint damage. Increasing pain needs to be promptly reported to your referring doctor.

Any medical procedure can potentially be associated with unpredictable risks.

Who will perform my procedure?

Our experienced medical imaging team will perform your Facet Joint Injection.

Facet Joint Injection

What happens after a Facet Joint Injection?


Pain relief can take a few days to occur so you may need to continue with your current medication for a short time. We ask that you rest the joint and avoid any strenuous activity. Further Post-Procedural Information can be found here.

Post-Procedural Information

Facet Joint Injection