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Facet Joint Syndrome

Facet Joint Syndrome is an inflammation or weakening of the joints of the spine that are responsible for connecting one spinal vertebrae to another. Each vertebra is surrounded by a facet joint on either side and these joints are lined with cartilage that is responsible for lubricating the spine and allowing the spine to remain flexible. Facet Joint Syndrome can affect one or both facet joints.

Facet Joint Disease can also be result of arthritis or osteoporosis. These conditions lead to accelerated weakening of the joints that may bring on this condition. Another common cause of Facet Joint Syndrome may be repetitive strain or trauma.

Facet Joint Disease can occur at any level of the spine but is more common in the lumbar spine.

Signs and symptoms of Facet Joint Syndrome may include:

  • Pain in lumbar or cervical spine
  • Pain that radiates into the extremities (radiculopathy)
  • “Cracking” or “popping” sounds when rotating the neck or back