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Simon asked...

Facet joint injections

I have been receiving facet joint injections for the last two years but they don't seem to be lasting very long anymore. I have extensive rehab courses in the army to help with the problem but they didn't seem to work. I am taking morphine at the moment until my next back injections. However I would like to know if there is a more permanent solution to my facet join pain?

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The answer

Facet joint injections are not a cure but they try to alleviate the pain caused by problem you are experiencing. Facet joint pain can be caused by osteoarthritis but also by injury. Depending on the cause of the pain, the treatment pathway varies. For pain caused by osteoarthritic facet joints, anti-inflammatory medicines, intense physiotherapy and facet joint injections are used as standard treatment. Sometimes, when the condition is worsening, it is possible that the adjoining vertebral disk to be affected too and surgery is required for a bone fusion.

There are special pain management clinics in the UK where you can be assessed for different types of therapies. One of them is the Spinal Cord Stimulator which is used to treat chronic pain that has failed to respond to more conventional treatments. There is a rigorous selection process as such stimulators are suitable only for few.

We would suggest you discuss your current situation and your suitability for other therapies including a possible referral to a pain management clinic with your treating specialist.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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