Facet syndrome is a condition of the cervical, thoracic or lumbar regions causing pain when you sit up straight or stand.
Facet disease is caused by the cartilage in the facet joints being worn down as
a result of:
- Wear and tear
Another cause of facet disease is spondylolisthesis, which is when one vertebra—usually in the lumbar spine—slips forward over the lower vertebra.
When the facet joints become inflamed due to injury or age, the result is stiffness and/or pain. As the facet joints deteriorate, they also might not align properly, which can cause pain. Additionally, rubbing on the joints wears out the cartilage and fluid that lubricates them. As a result, bone can rub on bone, which results in painful back problems.
Lumbar Facet Syndrome
When the facets are affected in the lumbar region, a person can experience lower-back pain that can go to the buttocks and upper thigh area and can often be misdiagnosed as sciatica.
Thoracic Facet Syndrome
When the facet joints in the thoracic region of the spine are affected, pain may occur in the central, or mid-back, region of the spine, or in the area between the lower back and the shoulders.
Cervical Facet Syndrome
If the area affected is cervical, then pain can occur in the back of the neck and radiate to the top of the shoulders and then can radiate around the neck.
Possible Treatment – The Bonati Laser Facet Debridement
Debridement is the surgical removal of torn, inflamed, damaged or dead tissue. The Bonati Procedure removes pain-inducing tissue in nerve branches above and below the affected facet joints on the spine. After a small incision is made, a tiny fiber optic camera is used to visualize the exact problem area and a laser is used to vaporize the painful nerves around the affected area. This Bonati Procedure performed by Chief Orthopaedic Surgeon, Alfred O. Bonati M.D., or another Bonati Spine Institute surgeon, usually takes less than one hour and most patients find immediate relief from facet disease pain.