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Facet Joint Pain


Pain originating in a facet joint is generally in the lower back, buttocks and thighs.


The facet joint help support weight-bearing and control movement between vertebrae of the spine. There are two facet joints (one on each side) at each spinal segment. These joints may degenerate. Degenerative joint changes are common in the older population, but may occur in younger adults, particularly with prior trauma.

Treatments for Facet Joint Pain

The initial treatment for facet joint pain is usually physical therapy, chiropractic care and/or medication. If pain persists, rhizotomy, a procedure to deaden small nerves around the joint, may be performed. This is generally only done after an infection has confirmed that the pain is coming from the facet joint. In some persistent facet joint problems, other surgery, such as posterior lumbar fusion (PLF), may be considered.

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