Now Offering Florida OrthoCare Telemedicine Virtual Visits

Facet Joint Disease

Neck Pain

What Is Facet Joint Disease?

Facet joint disease affects the neck and lower back. It can cause excessive pain and disability for people. It’s similar to a herniated disk but can also mask as an infection, fracture, or a muscle tear. It’s important to have a physician diagnose this problem so it can be treated properly.

Facet joints are present within your spine. These are what makes your back so flexible. They allow you to bend and twist in all directions. The nerves exit the spinal cord through these joints, which lead to other parts of the body. Healthy facet joints have cartilage, which also helps your vertebrae to move smoothly against each other without grinding.

Common symptoms of facet joint problems can include pain which can be intermittent and is usually unpredictable. Loss of flexibility in the muscles near the spine may occur. This is called guarding and it can also involve a persistent tenderness in one spot.

If a patient feels more pain when leaning backward than forward, it can be an indication of facet joint disease, rather than some other type of disease. If pain is being experienced in the lower back, the pain can often radiate down into the buttocks and the backs of the upper legs. Pain is usually not felt in the front of the legs, near the knees or feet. If there is pain in these regions, it might be an indication of a herniated disk or some other type of problem.

For cervical (neck) issues, there might be local pain, or pain that radiates into the shoulders or upper back. Pain is usually not radiating down the front of the body, down the arm, or down the fingers. Again, those issues indicate more of a problem with a herniated disk.

Facet joint problems can be tricky to diagnose, particularly if the pain comes and goes. Often x-rays will need to be examined. This usually shows any issues with abnormal facet changes. A CT scan can be more effective in obtaining information about not only the facet joints but the entire spinal segment structure too. In some instances, MRI scans may also be ordered, but generally only if other issues are suspected.

It’s important to have a physician diagnose facet joint disease so the proper treatment plan can be created. This should also be done sooner rather than later, so further damage can be minimized.

How We Can Help You?

Symptoms, Causes and Treatment Options for Osteoarthritis Picture

Symptoms, Causes and Treatment Options for Osteoarthritis

What is Osteoarthritis? Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disorder that can affect every joint in the body. However, patients are most likely …

Modern Advances Offer More Effective Spinal Fracture Treatment Options Picture

Modern Advances Offer More Effective Spinal Fracture Treatment Options

Cutting Edge Spinal Fracture Treatment Options   Only a few decades ago a spinal fracture could seriously affect your future. Often a …

Ligament Injuries Picture

Ligament Injuries

Bones constantly change through a process of formation and absorption that’s called remodeling. This balance can change over time, resulting in a loss of bone tissue. Ligaments are the connective tissue that’s located between the bones. Over time, ligaments can become less elastic and result in reduced flexibility.

View All

South Florida’s Top Orthopaedic Specialists and Surgeons

Copyright ® 2024 www.florthocare.com. Designed by Accountable Web Designs. Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions | Sitemap