Facetectomies are surgical procedures to alleviate the compression of a spinal nerve caused by facet disease. Facet joints are found between each pair of vertebrae in the spine and allow for the movement and flexion of the spine. Just like any joint in the body, the protective cartilaginous lining of a facet joint can wear away over time due to natural wear and tear, resulting in bone-on-bone contact. In response, the body will create excess bone growths (bone spurs) in the area, which are asymptomatic by themselves, but can cause painful symptoms when they impinge upon a nearby spinal nerve. This is the compression facetectomies seek to relieve.
Symptoms of Facet Disease
Facet disease is one of a variety of degenerative spine conditions, meaning that it involves the natural deterioration of the spinal anatomy over time as part of the aging process. When facet disease progresses to a certain point, it can cause nerve compression that results in a variety of symptoms, such as:
- Chronic pain
- Pain traveling the length of the nerve
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of reflexes
Facetectomies can help ease these symptoms by decompressing the nerve in question. However, it is only when nerve compression is present that these symptoms can arise. Otherwise, facet disease and other degenerative spine conditions are typically asymptomatic.
Other Treatment Options
Facetectomies are typically a last resort for patients suffering from the effects of facet disease. That’s because conservative, nonsurgical treatments are usually very effective in managing pain and other symptoms. However, if you’ve failed to find relief after weeks or months of conservative treatment and are considering surgical procedures, such as facetectomies, contact USA Spine Care today. Our revolutionary endoscopic procedures are minimally invasive alternatives to open back surgeries and can help you rediscover your life without back and neck pain.