Facet syndrome can be a confusing diagnosis. The condition, which is a specific type of osteoarthritis that develops in the facet joints, is relatively common, although every person’s experience can be quite different. Some people experience minimal — if any — discomfort, while others experience chronic pain that makes it difficult to participate in day-to-day activities. However, there are numerous treatments available and many people are able to have active lives despite living with facet syndrome.
How do you know if you have facet syndrome?
To determine if a person’s discomfort is caused by facet syndrome or a different type of condition, physicians typically use facet injections, in which a medication is injected directly into the joint that is thought to be the source of the patient’s pain. If this provides immediate relief, facet syndrome is the likely diagnosis. If the injection does not stop the pain, it may be caused by a herniated disc or other similar condition.
What sort of treatments are available?
Facet pain can be alleviated through a number of different options, ranging from pain medications and hot/cold therapy to physical therapy and lifestyle modifications. Some individuals also choose to explore complementary and alternative treatments, such as therapeutic massage and yoga, to further alleviate their discomfort.
When do you know if you need facet syndrome surgery?
Many people do not require surgery. However, if symptoms persist despite several weeks or months of conservative treatment, surgery might become a consideration. Depending on their diagnosis and health, patients may be able to choose between traditional and minimally invasive procedures.
At USA Spine Care, we perform minimally invasive outpatient procedures for facet syndrome. In fact, we have a proven track record of successful minimally invasive spine surgeries as the leader in our field.^ If you haven’t found the relief you need from nonsurgical therapies and are considering an operation, contact us today to find out if you’re a candidate for an outpatient procedure at USA Spine Care.
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