Spinal Arthitis

Spinal Arthritis

Lumbar Facet Pain - This page deals with basic information on the lumbar facet joints and how they cause pain. The lumbar facet joint can lead to pain like any other joint in the body. Bone spurs or other arthritic conditions lead to decay of the joint surfaces and this causes the joints to rub against their bony surfaces and this causes inflammation. The inflammation leads to further joint decay and pain. Arthritis is a natural condition associated with aging but it can be worsened by stresses or trauma. There is no "cure" for the arthritis but there are treatments for the pain associated with the arthritis. The yellow arrow depicts the L4-5 Facet Joint. Treatment includes injections of cortisone with local anesthetics. For longer durations, a technique called radiofrequency lesioning or ablation can be utilized. This involves "burning" the little nerves that innervate the joints and thus make the joints unable to transmit pain information to the brain. This generally lasts between 6 and 12 months with the average duration of 8 months. These ablative procedures involve needles with tips that heat up via electrical energy.

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