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Facet Syndrome

  • In the spine, each intervertebral segment consists of two facet joints and a disc. The facet joints connect each vertebrae, providing stability and support and allowing for healthy movement. Pain stemming from the facet joints is known as facet syndrome. When the cartilage surrounding the facet joints wears down and becomes thin and brittle, the friction between bones can cause pain.

  • While facet joints allow your neck and back to bend forward and backward, they are also a cause of spine-related pain. Symptoms of facet syndrome may include pain when twisting or bending, limited range of motion, and radiating pain that extends to other parts of the body, depending on if the facet joints are located in the cervical, thoracic, or lumbar part of the spine.

  • Facet syndrome often affects the elderly, as the disease is a result of wear and tear on joints. The condition can also affect those suffering from arthritis, trauma after a serious injury, or workplace stress, in which the work involves repetitive movements that increase the wear and tear of the facet joints in the spine.

  • Non-surgical treatments can provide relief for facet syndrome, including joint injections. If interventional treatments do not provide long-term relief, fusion surgery may be considered. The Interventional Spine & Surgery Group offers different options for fusion surgery, including transforaminal lumbar fusion (TLIF), cervical & lumbar fusions, and a posterior lumbar fusion (PLIF). Spinal fusions eliminate the pain stemming from the friction between worn down facet joints, while re-building stability and flexibility to return to a high quality of life.