A facet block is a spinal anesthetic injection into the facet joint for reduction of pain in this area. A facet block can also be used for the diagnosis of facet syndrome and for confirming the localization of pain. Facet joint injections are usually combined with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to help relieve pain and inflammation.
Facet joints, also known as zygapophysial joints, are joints that connect the back of one vertebra to the vertebra above it. The main function of facet joints is to allow for backward movement. The facet joints are part of the structures of the spine that are more commonly involved in spinal stenosis. Each facet joint contains synovial fluid that acts as a lubricant against wear and tear.
Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
Failed back surgery syndrome is not an actual medical syndrome but is generally described as the feeling of chronic pain after back surgery. Failed back surgery often occurs when the surgery is performed at the wrong anatomical site or due to a technical error during surgery such as a fragment of disc material left behind at the site of operation. Pain can also be due to scarring of the tissue at the anatomical site.
Fibromyalgia is a disorder that results in muscle pain and fatigue in multiple “tender points” around the body. The cause of fibromyalgia is yet unknown and there is no cure. It is very common in middle aged women and occurs more frequently in women than in men. Sometimes fibromyalgia is seen in patients who have arthritis, osteoarthritis, or lupus.
Fibrosis is the development of scar tissue which replaces normal tissue. If the scarring occurs near the nerve roots, it is known as epidural fibrosis. Patients who have had back surgery generally develop scar tissues as part of their healing process.
Fibrositis is the archaic definition for the inflammation of the fibrous tissue. The definition was provided by Sir William Gowers in 1904. However, there is no scientific evidence to support his theory. The term has since been replaced by “fibromyalgia”.
Flexion is the anatomical term for the forward-bending position. Back pain therapy often includes many exercises that encourage the flexion position. In the lower back, about 50% of flexion is at the hips, and 50% at the lower spine.
Foot drop is a neural pathway problem that results in the weakening of muscles of the ankles and toes. This weakening leads to a flexing of the ankles and feet and also the need to drag the feet when walking. A simple diagnostic test for foot drop is to try to walk on the heels. If this is very challenging, foot drop may be present.
The foramen is the narrow archway formed by the pedicles of adjacent vertebrae, creating a passageway for all spinal nerve roots to run through. Spinal nerve branches exit through the foramen as they travel to organs, muscles and sensory structures of the body.
Foraminal stenosis is the narrowing of the foramen, the passageway by which spinal nerves exit the spinal cord to travel to organs, muscles, and sensory structures. Foraminal stenosis can be caused by the following: clogging of the foraminal canal with debris, narrowing by factors such as spinal arthritis, enlargement of joints in the spinal canal, or bone spurs from degenerating discs. This narrowing of the foraminal canal can lead to pinched nerves and hence pain.