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Cervical Facet Arthropathy

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Spine Conditions

Spine Physicians

Michael P. St. Onge
D.O.
Marc P. Oliveri
D.O.

Cervical facet arthropathy refers to pain in one of the tiny facet joints that connect one vertebra to another in your cervical (upper) spine.

The condition occurs when the facet joints become irritated or inflamed, primarily as a result of arthritis, compression of the joints, or injury. Other causes include poor posture, and repetitive stress injuries due to lifting or carrying heavy loads or frequent overhead motions.

Symptoms can vary from mild to severe and may include:

  • Pain and tenderness in the neck
  • Pain that radiates to the shoulder blade or arm
  • Difficulty moving the neck or turning the head
  • Difficulty sitting for prolonged periods
  • Difficulty performing overhead activities

The cervical spine specialists at Lancaster Orthopedic Group help patients with complex neck and back problems, including cervical facet arthropathy, to recover and return to their normal daily activities. Our specialists pool together their expertise to develop the best course of treatment for each patient.

Conservative treatment for mild cases may include rest, ice, avoidance of activities that cause pain (overhead motions, looking up, and lifting or twisting of the head and neck), anti-inflammatory and pain medications, and physical therapy.

If symptoms of the cervical facet arthropathy are not responsive to conservative treatment or severe, surgical intervention may be recommended.

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