Facet joint syndrome of the neck

Facet joint syndrome of the neck can be a debilitating condition. Consider all of the daily movements that we can take for granted, such as twisting our heads to check for traffic or turning over in bed while we sleep. Each of these requires the vertebrae and discs in the cervical (upper) spine to function properly, but facet joint syndrome of the neck can result in painful symptoms that make these movements, and many other daily activities, difficult to impossible.

This condition is treatable however, with a large number of people able to find acceptable pain relief and a return to normal functioning. If chronic neck pain and other symptoms related to facet joint syndrome are interfering with your life, learning more about this condition and the full range of effective therapies can be an important first step in getting the help you deserve.

Managing the pain of cervical facet joint syndrome

Cervical facet joint syndrome occurs when the cartilage surrounding a facet joint in this part of the spine wears away. Not only can joints become inflamed and stiff, but the grinding of one vertebra against another can cause bone spurs, or osteophytes, to form. These growths of bone can compress nearby spinal nerves and cause pain, tingling, numbness and weakness to radiate through the neck, shoulders, arms and hands.

If a diagnosis is made, your doctor will likely first recommend a conservative treatment plan to manage these symptoms, which can include the following methods:

  • Pain medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Periods of rest
  • Therapeutic massage

Minimally invasive spine surgery

If you and your doctor decide that conservative treatments have been fully explored without bringing the necessary relief for a good quality of life, surgical treatment may be recommended. If this is the case, reach out to Laser Spine Institute before you consent to a traditional open spine procedure. Our minimally invasive spine surgery is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back procedures, offering our patients a shorter recovery time.^

For more information, contact our dedicated team of Spine Care Consultants for a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.