Facet Joints are small joints of the spine which are formed where one vertebrae meets another vertebrae. Like other joints of the body, the cartilage that is found between these joints can wear thin over the course of time or through injury, leading to arthritis. Degenerative Disc Disease, or thinning of the discs found in the spine, can also help lead to facet joint arthritis by changing the natural alignment of these joints.
Facet Joint Syndrome occurs when the facet joints become stressed or damaged. With advanced disease, the bones rub directly against each other, which can lead to the growth of bone spurs along the edges of the facet joints. The joints can become swollen and cause stiffness and pain.
Treatment options for facet joint arthritis include anti-inflammatory medications, ice, physical therapy, and injection based therapies including Cervical Facet Joint Steroid Injections, Cervical Medial Branch Blocks, Cervical Radiofrequency Ablation, and Platelet Rich Plasma.