A facetectomy, also called a partial inferior facetectomy, is performed to relieve pressure on spinal nerve roots. Facets are the smooth, flat surfaces of the vertebrae that interlock and allow the spine to flex. Facet joints permit gliding movements between the vertebrae. These joints are in constant motion, providing the spine with the stability and flexibility needed to walk, run, bend, sit and twist. As we age, the cartilage that lines the facet joint surfaces, allowing them to glide easily over one another, gradually wears away, and in many cases growths called bone spurs can develop.