C1-2 Lateral Joint Injections

Osteoarthritic changes of the C1-2 or atlanto-axial joint are a common cause of upper neck pain, cervicogenic headache and neck stiffness.

In order to diagnose C1-2 joint pain, it is possible to inject local anaesthetic and steroid medication into the joint under x-ray guidance.  If your pain is substantially improved during the period of local anaesthetic action, it is reasonable to deduce that the C1-2 joint is its site of origin.  The steroid medication can extend pain relief for up to several months.

Once the diagnosis is established, your doctor will consider longer-lasting treatments for the relief of C1-2 joint pain (see radiofrequency denervation treatments and platelet rich plasma therapy).

C1-2 lateral joint injection is performed in our day procedure facility with an anaesthetist providing light sedation.

You may be asked to keep a “pain diary” record of your response to the injections for several hours to compare to your usual level of pain.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner. Northern Pain Centre can facilitate you obtaining a second opinion. Please discuss this with us.