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Where is Facet Joint Pain Felt?

  • Category: Spine Conditions
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: DR. HAMID ABBASI

Facet joint pain occurs as a result of overuse of the facet joints due to age, injury or arthritis and then result in severe chronic back pain. Facet joint pain is felt in the back all along the spine and may be hard to diagnose in many cases.

It is one of the most common causes of neck pain, back pain and thoracic facet joint pain.

Conventional treatments for the condition include the following:

  • Weight management
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Pain relief injections
  • Radiofrequency ablation

These options are often made part of a rehabilitation program that also includes various facet joint exercises as well.

However, many of these options only provide short-term relief and may call on patients to continue with follow up sessions.

Types of Facet Joint Pain

When joint motion is impaired by stiffening of joints, the condition is known as facet joint hypomobility. Typical causes include:

  • Locked facet joints
  • Facet joint arthritis
  • Degenerative facet joint osteophytes
  • Joint capsule scarring
  • Protective muscle spasm

When joints become too mobile instead of too stiff, the condition is known as facet joint hypermobility. Causes include

  • Fracture
  • Dislocation
  • Trauma
  • Overstretched ligaments
  • Joint diseases like rheumatoid arthritis

A New Innovation in Facet Joint Pain Treatment

The latest advancement in facet joint pain treatment is known as the DenerveX system. This is a device that is involved in ablation of soft tissue. As the name suggests, the treatment denerves the involved nerves and nerve roots in the lumbar, thoracic and cervical regions.

The procedure involves the following steps:

  • Patients are sedated before the procedure.
  • Using fluoroscopy the affected joints are singled out.
  • A minor incision is made.
  • A small portal tube is inserted via the skin to the joint.
  • The device is then put through the incision.
  • Once inside, the device is activated and uses both light and heat tissue scarping action concurrently.
  • DenerveX disrupts the signals transmitted by a nerve and its receptors.
  • This disruption significantly reduces the pain.
  • Recovery times can be up to fourteen days after the procedure.

Being a very new procedure in facet joint pain management the DenerveX system has recently been used on the first patients in Europe. The system has received CE mark allowing the company to market the device in Europe.

The first few cases have received very encouraging results.

According to the president and COO of Medovex Corporation, makers of the DenerveX system, the device was retailed first in Europe given the large market there. After clearance from the CE, the European data can help US clinical trials and with submission to the FDA for approval.

Efficacy of The DenerveX System

The DenerveX system uses rotacapsulation combining high heat and rotational capsular tissue shaving. The procedure is considered minimally invasive as compared to surgical options for the treatment of facet joint syndrome.

Of the 48 evaluated treatments, 92% of the treatments reached their targeted facet joint treatment sites. “The DenerveX System delivered treatments that would be expected and desired as needed to provide longer-term pain relief, and that would set up the DenerveX System and procedure as a new and unique therapy for Facet Joint Syndrome.”, stated Martin Deeg of Stuttgart of Germany.