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How Long Do Facet Blocks Last?

How Long Do Facet Blocks Last?

Facet blocks have two unique purposes: they diagnose and treat chronic pain symptoms in the spine. Now, when we say, “treat,” we mean control or manage pain symptoms for an extended period of time. Although there is no cure-all for chronic back pain, facet blocks can provide long lasting relief. Should a facet block be successful, other treatment modalities such as radiofrequency ablation and minimally invasive spine surgery can provide partial or complete pain relief for many, many years if you’re a candidate.

At NeuroMicroSpine, the facet block is used to diagnose which area of the spine is causing the patient’s pain. Because low back pain is a common ailment for many of our patients, Dr. Mark Giovanini of NeuroMicroSpine may recommend a lumbar facet block to determine whether or not the pain is being caused by damaged discs or deteriorated facet joints in the lumbar spine. If a patient experiences relief from the injection, he or she may be a candidate for a more permanent, or longer lasting pain relief procedure called radiofrequency ablation.

During a lumbar facet block procedure, patients are either sitting up straight or lying on their stomach so Dr. Giovanini can access the spine. The injection site will be numbed and Dr. Giovanini may use various imaging technologies to accurately identify and administer medication into the spine. Multiple injections may be made to diagnose the source of pain.

When it comes to the duration of pain relief patients could experience from a facet block, there really is no concrete answer. Every patient is different. However, when the source of pain is located, patients typically feel immediate relief due to the local anesthetic. This medication will wear off after a few hours and it may take anywhere from two to seven days before patients experience the long lasting effects.

For more information on whether spinal surgery is necessary for your condition, or to make an appointment with the doctors at NeuroMicroSpine, please call (850) 934-7545 or click here to request an appointment. We hope to see you soon!

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician's advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.