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Facet disease can be identified and treated by the Tampa-based experts at Laser Spine Institute

At Laser Spine Institute we understand the debilitating effect that facet disease can have on a patient’s ability to perform day-to-day tasks without pain, which is why we are committed to assisting these patients. Facet disease is simply the deterioration of the facet joint. Though there is no cure for facet disease, we understand that any form of relief is greatly accepted.

Facet disease diagnosis

In order to achieve significant relief from your facet disease symptoms, you must first visit your physician to have your condition diagnosed. He or she will do this by listening to you describe your symptoms and medical history, conducting a physical exam and ordering a medical imaging test — such as an MRI, X-ray or CT scan — to confirm your diagnosis. Once it has been determined that you have facet disease, you and your physician can work together to develop an individualized course of treatment that will be most effective in relieving your pain and improving your quality of life.

Facet disease causes

Facet disease can be caused by a number of factors ranging from genetics to lifestyle choices. To begin, individuals who have a family history of facet disease are believed to be at a higher risk of developing the disease themselves. Another common cause of facet disease is the natural aging process, as years of general wear and tear on the spine can eventually cause the facet joints to wear down. Finally, a number of lifestyle factors, including obesity, poor posture and participation in high-impact sports, may also lead to facet disease by causing the facet joints to degenerate at a faster rate.

Facet Disease Symptoms

Facet disease can be accompanied by a number of different symptoms. These can include:

  • Tingling
  • Swelling
  • Irritation
  • Weakness
  • Trouble walking or standing
  • Soreness
  • Burning sensations
  • Stiffness
  • Numbness
  • Pain

Over time, these symptoms can cause a patient to lose hope in ever finding relief, which is why we are dedicated to treating as many patients with facet disease as possible.

Conservative and alternative treatments

Prior to looking into surgical options, we recommend that all patients exhaust the conservative treatments available to them. However, it is important to consult with your physician before starting or stopping any form of facet disease treatment to ensure it will not worsen your condition. That being said, there are a number of conservative, nonsurgical methods used to treat facet disease, which include:

  • Medication for pain and inflammation
  • Hot and cold compresses
  • Physical therapy
  • Exercise and stretching
  • Lifestyle modifications such as weight loss, when necessary

In addition to the conservative methods of treatment mentioned above, some patients choose to explore alternative methods of treatment on their own, as these treatments are not widely accepted by physicians. Still, success has been reported through the use of treatments like acupuncture, massage, chiropractic manipulation and herbal supplements.

Facet disease treatment at Laser Spine Institute

If nonsurgical treatments fail to offer you needed relief, Laser Spine Institute’s Tampa center offers minimally invasive facet thermal ablation to treat facet disease.

Performed through a less than 1-inch incision, our facet thermal ablation is performed in our outpatient ambulatory surgery center. During this procedure, the surgeon gently spreads apart the muscle to reach the impacted area. He is then able to use the laser to deaden the nerves that are sending the painful messages to the brain, causing the patient’s discomfort. This procedure is usually performed in conjunction with one of our other minimally invasive spine surgeries.

For more information regarding facet disease treatment performed at Laser Spine Institute’s Tampa facility, contact us today. Ask our dedicated team for your no-cost MRI review* to determine if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.