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Question
Posted by: Neuro | 2008/05/27

Facet Joint Infiltration

Good day Dr. Bets

My dad has a back problem – he has a slipped disc which is pressing on a nerve.

A week ago he could not get out of bed or walk two steps and was then admitted to casualties. Not even morphine helped for the pain and he described the pain equal to that of kidney stones. Furthermore, the pain was intense in one of his legs, more than that in the back, which he described as an intense burning pain. He was eventually admitted to a general ward after a MRI scan.

The neurosurgeon said that he has a a very small disc which is basically 80% water and that he would not recommend an immediate operation as he believes the potential of it shrinking to be quite good.

However, they did a Facet Joint Infiltration on Friday night, for the second time (the previous one was 3 months ago) which at least brought some sort of relief and enabled him to stand up straight and walk slowly. The only big problem now, is that he is complaining of extreme weakness in the leg and describes it as “a dead piece of flesh” which he has to drag along. Does this mean that the nerve caused permanent damage to the leg, is the leg just out of exercise or did the procedure possibly cause damage?

With the first infiltration, he could stand up after 3 hours with no weakness in the legs whatsoever.

We are quite worried about his leg. Can you please provide your comprehensive view and advice on what might be wrong.

It will be much appreciated.

Thanking you!

Kind Regards
Neuro

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Our expert says:
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Thank you for visiting health24.com.

It sounds like if there is still pressure on the nerve. I do not think that the nerve was injured with the facet joint infiltration but that there is continued pressure on the nerve. This can permanently damage the nerve and I therefore, suggest that your father re-visit the neuro surgeon.

Kind regards




Dr Anrich Burger

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