3 Surgical Treatment Options for Facet Joint Syndrome

On the back of each spinal segment, a pair of small facet joints connect the spine’s vertebral bones. The facet joints of the lower back (lumbar spine) bear a massive amount of stress and weight, making them vulnerable to degeneration and injury. These joints are innervated with spinal nerves, making them susceptible to developing pain often felt in the lower back or legs.

Pain origination from a facet in the lumbar spine may begin as acute short-term pain but become chronic over time. The pain may be localized to the lower back or may progress down into one or both legs if a spinal nerve impinges near the facet, resulting in a condition known as sciatica. There are numerous terms and diagnoses related to facet joint disorders, including spinal osteoarthritis, facet joint arthritis, facet joint disease, and facet syndrome. These disorders may also be classified under the general term for spinal degeneration spondylosis.

3 Facet Joint Syndrome Surgical Treatment Options

Facet Joint Syndrome is a condition in which arthritic change and inflammation occur to the nerves and facet joints. This condition can be caused by degenerative changes to the joints between the spine bones. The cartilage inside the facet joints may break down and become inflamed, triggering pain signals in nearby nerve endings.

Surgeries are performed on the facet joints to reduce pain by improving the stability of the motion segments of the back. Facet joint surgeries do not typically need open surgical techniques. Many procedures may be performed using minimally invasive approaches. These procedures use relatively small incisions that tend to cause minimal tissue damage and have a faster recovery rate. Surgical procedures typically include:

1. Lumbar Decompression

Laminectomy surgery includes removing the posterior part of the vertebra to provide more space for the compressed spinal cord or nerve roots. Laminectomy helps decrease pressure on the nerves, reducing leg pain and potentially improving weakness and functionality of the lower back and legs.

2. Reduction

Reduction surgery involves fixing fractured facet joints. This procedure is typically performed in a facet dislocation or fracture caused by high-energy trauma.

3. Facetectomy

A facetectomy involves trimming parts of a facet joint to remove excess bone that may be impinging on a spinal nerve or the spinal cord.

As with any medical procedure, there is the risk of serious complications, such as infection, excessive bleeding, nerve injury, and severe allergic reaction. Before deciding to have surgery for facet joint syndrome, it’s essential to discuss the risk and all possible treatment options for your condition and unique needs.

Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery Can Help You Find Back Pain Relief

At Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery, our spinal surgeons are leaders in their field dedicated to helping patients find back pain relief. Our surgeons are pioneers of minimally invasive spinal surgery and have spent decades helping patients find pain relief and regain their quality of life. We tailor our treatment plans to meet the individual needs of each patient. Schedule an appointment online through our contact form or contact us at (855) 853-6542.