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is there any treatment for "facet joint disease" beyond ablation?

Pepper1PPepper1 Posts: 9
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
i have cervical "facet joint disease" as well as minor cervical kyphosis. my disks show a little wear and tear, but nothing dramatic. i am in considerable pain, and am very disabled. i am to have a neural ablation soon. my understanding is that given my situation, should the ablation not work, i will have no more surgical options.

have any of you heard differently? is fusion ever considered in the absence of major disk pathology? i've tried physical therapy, chiropractic, etc. without success.



  • Have you tried Accupunture for your issue? A good friend of mine has that issue and she says that accupunture and heat helps her a lot, so you might want to try that.
    I know that surgery is done only as a last resort, for severe unresolved pain. Good luck to you, and I hope that something will help you get rid of the pain.

  • I had facet joint arthropy (arthritis) and I benefited from the facet joint injections. I'm awaiting a Pain Management appt. at the hospital since they didn't do RFA at the clinic. I hope your RFA helps you have less pain. It takes awhile for the nerves to respond though. I hope it works for you. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I have heard of a procedure where they remove your facets and replace them with artificial ones.

    Don't have much more info than that.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    I believe sometimes fusion is an option for facet pain that is not well controlled on meds and doesn't resolve with ablation and other minimally invasive techniques. It's likely the last resort but I think it would be an option.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • thanks. you've all been helpful :)
  • I just had an appointment at a neurosurgery clinic that also does a lot of neuroresearch. The neurosurgeon talked about the facet joint replacement procedure to me, but said it was not really being done much as the results are not yet reliably replicated...and that it may not ever become mainstream. There are still lots of problems with the technology.
  • I and lots of other folks here have had wonderful results with the nerve ablation. Fusions are not always successful and sometimes make things worse so please be very careful before considering that to be an option. We will all keep our fingers crossed that you do get relief from the ablation. Good luck and keep us posted.
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