Facet Joint Syndrome

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Facet Joint Syndrome

What Is Facet Joint Disease?

The spine is made up of 33 bones called vertebrae and divided into four regions: cervical (neck), thoracic (mid back), lumbar (lower back), and sacrum. In the movable regions of the spine which are the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine, each vertebra is connected to another vertebra via a joint called the facet joint. There is a pair of facet joints on each vertebra, one on the right and one on the left which function like other joints in the body, such as the knee. The facet joints are filled with a lubricant called synovial fluid and lined with cartilage to allow for a smooth, gliding motion in the spine while also preventing excess motion under extreme flexion, rotation, or shear forces. Being joints, the facet joints in your spine are subject to wear and tear and the development of arthritis over time. As the cartilage around the joints begins to degrade, the joints begin to lose stability and emit pain, a condition known as Facet Joint Syndrome or Facet Joint Disease.
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