Thoracic Facet Injection

What is the thoracic facet?
Thoracic facet joints are small joints about the size of the thumb nails located in pairs on the back of the spine. They provide stability and guide motion in the mid back. If the joints become painful, they may cause pain in the mid back, ribs, chest or abdomen.

What is a thoracic facet joint injection?
Used as a diagnostic tool, the injection confirms if the facet joint is the source of your pain. The facet joints in the mid-back allow for considerable amounts of flexion and extension in the spine. Golfers are prime candidates for facet joint injury due to their repetitive twisting motions as they swing their golf clubs. An anti-inflammatory steroid medication and local anesthetic is injected into the inflamed joint. The steroid agent shrinks the swelling and the local anesthetic numbs the inflamed area and relaxes the muscles around the facet joint. To ensure proper placement of the medication, the procedure will be performed under xray.

What is the purpose of the thoracic facet injection?
To treat mid-back, chest, and abdominal pain that may be due to inflammation of the facet joint. We may repeat this injection to confirm the facet is the source of your pain, before proceeding with the next treatment option.