Facet and Sacroiliac Joint Therapy

The spine can be damaged by trauma, such as whiplash, or natural processes like degenerative joint disease, both causing pain from the joints of the spine. These joints are called the facet or zygopophaseal joints. There is one pair of joints for each level of the spine from the tailbone to the neck. The process of inflammation of these joints is also called spondylosis of the neck or the lumbar spine.

Procedures which may be used to treat or diagnose this condition include:

  • Injection of the facet joints with cortisone and local anesthesia
  • Injection of the nerves to the joints (medial branch) with local anesthetics
  • Long-term disruption of the nerves to the joints for prolonged pain relief (radiofrequency ablation of medial branches) 

The sacroiliac joint is the large joint between the sacrum and the pelvic bone. Pain in the buttock area at the side of the tailbone may be due to sacroiliac inflammation or damage. Pain from this area may also radiate down the buttock and leg, but not below the knee. Injections of cortisone and local anesthetic of the sacroiliac joint and associated ligaments can help.

For more information about the facet joint injection, call the Anesthesiology Pain Clinic, in Seattle, at (206) 223-7582.