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Spine Disorders

  • By: ISA Content Team
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Facet Arthropathy

TERMINOLOGY

  • Facet arthrosis
  • Facet arthritis
  • Degenerative facet disease
  • Degenerative joint disease
  • Spinal joint arthropathy.



INTRODUCTION


Facet arthropathy is defined as osteoarthritis of the synovially lined apophyseal spinal (facet) joint. Facet disease (spine joint disease) is a common cause for chronic back pain with a prevalence ranging from 8-75%. It is felt by some to represent the most common source of chronic back pain. The mechanism contributing to pain is complex involving the presence of chemicals which induce and promote inflammation (inflammatory mediators). It is also caused by facet nerve irritation and the presence of chemicals such as substance P which facilitate pain. These factors can be trigger by many stimuli including recurrent microtrauma, an inflammatory process, osteoarthritis, as well as distension and inflammation of the spinal joint lining. Facet arthropathy may be associated with the development of a facet (synovial) cyst and degenerative disc disease.


PREVALENCE


  • Facet joint degeneration often begins within the first two decades
  • It is present to a variable degree in most adults at some level of the spine
  • Almost all individuals over 60years of age will have facet arthropathy
  • In part associated with aging



Educational Partners

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All health information posted on the site is based on the latest research and national treatment standards, and have been written or reviewed and appoved by the American Acedemy of Spine Physicians and/or International Spine Association physicians or health professionals unless otherwise specified.



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