Facet syndrome is pain that originates within the facet joints, which are the hinges that connect the vertebrae of the spine. Facet joints occur in pairs on the sides of vertebrae and are synovial joints, which means they are surrounded and lubricated by a thick liquid called synovial fluid. Each joint also is lined by a membrane known as the synovium, and enclosed in a fibrous sac called a joint capsule. The bone surfaces of the joints are lined with a specialized tissue called articular cartilage. Abnormalities that occur within any of the anatomical components of the facet joints can produce pain and threaten overall spinal stability.
Causes of Facet Syndrome
Facet syndrome is a form of arthritis, for which the root causes are unclear. What is known is that the aging process and traumatic injury can both cause cartilage to deteriorate, which can produce pain as bones of the adjacent joints begin to rub together. It is also known that people older than 50 are more likely to suffer the effects of facet syndrome.
Minimally Invasive Treatment for Facet Syndrome
In most cases, symptoms associated with facet syndrome can be managed using conservative treatment methods.