What is Facet Joint Arthritis?

In the back of the spine, the vertebrae connect to each other through a series of ridges known as the facet joints. Each facet joint connects to the vertebrae above and below it with a cushion of cartilage and a fluid filled capsule that surrounds it.

Like all joints in the body, the facet joints can suffer from Osteoarthritis if the cartilage between the facet joints breaks down. If the joints move without their protective cartilage, it can cause pain, stiffness and reduced range of motion. Facet Arthritis greatly contributes to cases of lower back pain (Lumbago),and severe damage or bone spurs near the nerve root can result in cauda equina syndrome.