Are you struggling with the pain of facet joint syndrome? Coast Spine and Sports Medicine offers a range of effective pain management techniques for men and women in Orange County, Los Angeles County and Inland Empire.
What Is Facet Joint Syndrome?
Facet joint syndrome refers to pain at the facet joints between two adjacent spinal vertebrae. Facet joints are the spinal joints that allow the spine to bend and flex. When healthy, the joints have cartilage that allows the joints to move against each other without painful grinding. Spinal nerves exit the spinal cord through the facet joints. Facet joint syndrome occurs when the cartilage in the facet joint becomes inflamed or breaks down, triggering pain in nearby facet nerves.
Facet joint syndrome is also called osteoarthritis, although OA can also affect other joints, not just the facet joints. OA is just one possible cause of facet joint syndrome.
Each spinal motion segment has a set of facet joints connecting the vertebrae together. Facet joint syndrome can occur in any or multiple facet joints in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine. The location of the joint degeneration can affect symptoms. Lumbar facet joint syndrome of the lower back can make it difficult to get out of a chair or straighten your back with pain that may extend to the buttocks and legs. Cervical facet joint syndrome can cause pain in the neck, upper back, and shoulder.
How Much Does Facet Joint Syndrome Treatment Cost in Orange County?
The cost of facet joint syndrome depends on the extent of your condition, the treatments recommended, and how well you respond to treatment. During your initial consultation at Coast Spine and Sports Medicine, we will create a tailored treatment plan based on your symptoms and condition and help you understand the cost of your treatment. We accept many forms of insurance in addition to financing through CareCredit®.
What Causes Facet Joint Syndrome?
Facet joint syndrome is caused by normal aging, overload of the pressure joints, and/or injury or damage to the joints. This can be caused by spinal osteoarthritis an accident, over-use, degenerated or herniated discs, or spondylolisthesis , also known as a slipped vertebra.
As cartilage wears away or becomes damaged, it can no longer protect the joint. This allows bone to rub against bone, which causes deterioration of the joint itself. This can cause bone spurs to develop that take up space in the foramen where nerve roots exit and put pressure on nerves. Bone spurs can even grow into the spinal canal and cause spinal stenosis.
What Facet Joint Syndrome Treatment Options Do You Offer in Orange County?
At Coast Spine and Sports Medicine, we develop personalized treatment plans for our patients after an in-depth exam to better understand your pain, what’s causing it, and why. We offer several treatment options for facet joint syndrome that begin with the least invasive solution possible to relieve your pain.
Over-the-counter and prescription medications, including steroids, can help ease the pain of facet joint syndrome for many people. Physical therapy can also reduce pain and inflammation. If these measures do not work in conjunction with activity modification and posture correction, we may recommend additional treatment options.
- Facet Joint Injections
- A nerve block is an injection of local anesthetic and steroid medication into the facet joint or the joint space near the nerve supplying the facet joint. This treatment can offer excellent pain relief, although it may need to be repeated.
- Radiofrequency Neurotomy
- Also known as radiofrequency rhizotomy, this procedure uses radiofrequency heat waves to target painful nerves and temporarily stop their ability to transmit pain signals to the brain. For some people, it can provide pain relief for anywhere from six to 24 months.
- Nerve Ablation
- This minimally invasive procedure destroys the painful nerve serving the facet joints, much like a root canal destroys the nerve serving the tooth without damaging the tooth’s function.
- This procedure involves removing some of the lamina of the vertebrae to widen the spinal space if spinal stenosis is occurring.
- Spinal Fusion
- This minimally invasive surgery involves fusing several vertebrae together to prevent them from moving against each other.
You don’t need to live with the pain and reduced quality of life that can come with facet joint syndrome. Contact us to schedule an appointment to learn more about how we can help you find relief from your pain. Coast Spine and Sports Medicine serves men and women in Los Angeles County and Orange County, including Santa Ana and Downey, CA.