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What is facet hypertrophy?

Victoria Fowler

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Justin Parker on April 15, 2018

Background/Anatomy The spine has 23 total pairs (46) of facet joints located in the back or in the back of the spine. These are special gliding joints that are made by a flat projection (zygapophyseal process or projection) that comes from one spinal bone and meets or contacts to another plane of projection, which makes the facet joint. Each facet joint is covered by a thick layer of ligaments to support and hold the facet joint together. Hypertrophy is a medical term that means that something (muscle, liver, tissue, ligament) is larger or greater than it was originally. In this case, the term usually suggests that the facet joint is larger or greater than normal due to the increased size of the bones of the projection and the ligaments that are part of the facet of the structure. This change of facet hypertrophy usually occurs as one of the first signs of spinal osteoarthritis. Arthritis causes the body to deposit new bone to these joints in an attempt to make these joints stronger and not break. Interpretation Basically, your spinal joints have worn a little. Facets are the rear part of the spine, where the joints. Hypertrophy of the growth media. Basically, arthritis in the spine. Other language Facet hypertrophy may be described as bilteral (occurring on both sides), to the left or to the right. It can be described as cervical, thoracic, or lumbar (in the top, middle or bottom of the spine), for the two bones that form the joint (such as the L3/L4 to note that it is the facet joint between the 3rd and 4th lumbar vertebrae), or multilevel. The hypertrophy can be described by severity, such as mild, moderate, severe, advanced, minimal, etc


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