Facet Block

Make an appointment

To make a medical imaging appointment, please fax your doctor’s request to 450-975-5040. We will contact you as soon as possible.

Goal And Reason For Getting A Facet Block

A facet block temporarily relieves pain caused by the nerves of the facet joints.

A facet block involves injecting drugs (cortisone and lidocaine) into the facet joints of the spine (which can be found in the cervical, thoracic or lumbar region). A maximum of 4 sites can be injected per appointment. If you need injections at more than 4 sites, you will have to get a second appointment two weeks later.

Some patients need 2 to 3 different injections (also called “infiltrations”) to get relief. You can get up to a maximum of 3 infiltrations per year for the same site. You must wait three months for an infiltration at the same site and two weeks for a different site.

Notify your doctor or the technologist before your treatment if you have allergies or if you are pregnant.

You do not need to have someone accompany you to the treatment. Most people can drive after getting the injection. However, the radiologist will let you know if he or she believes you won’t be able to drive.

You can go back to work after your treatment depending on the nature of your job. Ask your doctor before your appointment.

Cervical facet block
Dorsal facet block
Lumbar facet block
Fluoroscopy exam room
Fluoroscopy exam room

Facet Block Procedure

For the treatment, you will lie down on the exam table on your stomach. The technologist will disinfect your skin.

Using X-rays as a guide, the radiologist will position the needle in the region to be treated and inject the medication into the painful vertebrae. Although everyone has a different tolerance to pain, most people tolerate the procedure very well. You may feel slight discomfort from the injection.

The treatment lasts about 15 minutes. You will then go back to the waiting room for 5 minutes, and the medical staff will make sure you are stable enough before allowing you to leave.

When and how long will the nerve block work?

Generally, you have to wait 48 to 72 hours before feeling relief. The duration of relief varies from person to person and can last from a few weeks to a few months.

Tips to treat pain at the injection site

  • Take an analgesic such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) to relieve any pain.
  • Apply a bag of ice for 10 minutes every 2 or 3 hours (if necessary).
    • Put a piece of material between your skin and the bag of ice. (Damp fabric between the ice and your skin will provide a better cold effect.)

  • The radiologist will let you know whether you can have a physiotherapy treatment the same day (this may depend on your procedure). What side effects could I HAVE?

After the infiltration, you may experience:

  • Increased pain for 24 to 48 hours.
  • Red cheeks for 24 hours.
  • Irregular menstruation for your next cycle.
  • For diabetic patients, an increase in blood glucose for a few days. (See recommendations below.) Special tips for people with diabetes After the infiltration, your blood glucose may increase for a few days to a few weeks.


Measure your blood glucose more often, up to 4 times a day (before meals and in the evening). If your diabetes is more difficult to control, talk to your doctor or your diabetes team to adjust your treatment. What are the risks of getting a facet block?

It is abnormal to have:

  • Swelling (at the injection site)
  • Hives (at the injection site)
  • Fever
  • Trouble breathing These symptoms may be signs of an allergic reaction. Please consult a doctor for any emergencies.

If you believe you are having major complications from the facet block:

  1. Call Ouvre un lien interne dans la fenêtre couranteInfo-Santé 811  (24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year)
  2. Go to the emergency room to see a doctor Alternative therapies if you refuse treatment You can always refuse the treatment if you don’t feel it is right for you