An intra-articular thoracic facet joint injection is an outpatient procedure where a small amount of local anesthetic and/or steroid injection is injected to facet joints to block pain. During the procedure, the skin is punctured at a 60-degree angle and the needle is advanced towards the target joint. Image guidance is critical to avoid accidental puncture of the thecal sac or lungs.
This procedure is typically done with the use of image guidance by ultrasound, CT, or MRI. This procedure is intended to help a patient who is in pain to undergo physical therapy routines or rehabilitation with less difficulty.
Apart from pain relief, an intra-articular thoracic facet joint injection is also administered as a diagnostic tool. If the patient is completely relieved by pain after this procedure, it means that that specific joint is the source of their pain.