A costovertebral joint injection is a procedure performed on individuals who suffer from pain in the mid-back region. It’s a procedure that is minimally invasive in nature and the main goal of it is to provide relief with regards to any inflammation and/or irritation that may be experienced in the costovertebral joints, which are small-sized joints that help connect the ribs and the thoracic vertebrae together. This procedure is offered to individuals who have not responded well to other forms of treatment options such as rest, physical and/or chiropractic therapy, or anti-inflammatory medications that are administered orally. The relief provided by this injection, can either be short-term (i.e. days or months) or permanent.
Prior to the beginning of the procedure, the patient may be required to sign a consent form and have their vital signs checked for by a nurse. Patients do have the option of either staying awake during the course of the procedure or agreeing to the administered sedation via IV. Patients may also be provided with oral medications to help keep anxiety levels low.
For the procedure, the patient will be required to lay down flat on the table and as with all injection-based procedures, the area where the injection will be performed will be cleansed and sterilized with an antiseptic solution, and anesthetics will be administered to numb the specific area as well.
With the aid of fluoroscopic guidance, a thin needle will be inserted into the costovertebral joint where the anesthetic and corticosteroid are administered. Both forms of medication are used to help manage pain and inflammation. Following the completion of the procedure, the patient will be directed to a recovery room where he/she will be observed for a period of 30 minutes to monitor for any potential side effects from the injection. The patient’s vital signs will be re-checked once again by the nurse and will also be provided with an ice pack to ensure the medication remains in place and to prevent any soreness from occurring. The patient can expect to resume normal everyday activities starting the very next day and is also provided a form to document pain levels following the procedure. This form is brought back in a subsequent appointment.