The presence of arthritis or some form of degeneration in the facet joints of the spine is known as facet disease. Flanking the main spinal column are the joints connecting the individual vertebrae together and are present in all levels of the spine. These joints are known as the facet joints.
Facet disease diagnosis
Facet disease is usually identified through an MRI and a physical exam. Patients normally experience local pain near the affected joint or joints. If a patient has symptoms of cervical facet disease, it is common for them to experience pain from the neck and into the surrounding areas where the affected facet joint is located.
Facet disease treatment
Treatment for facet disease depends on the severity of the joint pain being endured. For lots of patients, facet pain can be managed with a facet injection and therapy regimen. This usually helps the pain and discomfort to subside. If patients do not experience any relief from the injections and physical therapy, we recommend a minimally invasive laser procedure known as a rhizotomy. This effectively deadens the small nerve that runs to the facet joint.
Our doctors can deaden the pain-causing nerve running through the facet by using a laser and a high-powered endoscope. Following this procedure, there is little to no collateral damage and no hospital stay. Patients treated with a rhizotomy are normally prescribed therapy which allows the patient to quickly recover lost mobility without further joint pain.
To learn more about facet disease, watch the video below: