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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2008 Apr;89(4):770-4. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2007.11.028.

Cervical facet joint dysfunction: a review.

Author information

1
Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Stanford University Medical Center, Palo Alto, CA 94305, USA. rmitra@stanford.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To review the relevant literature on cervical facet joint dysfunction and determine findings regarding its anatomy, etiology, prevalence, clinical features, diagnosis, and treatment.

DATA SOURCES:

A computer-aided search of several databases was performed, including Medline (1966 to present), Ovid (1966 to present), and the Cochrane database (1993 to present).

STUDY SELECTION:

Selected articles had the following criteria: (1) all articles analyzed cervical facet joint pain-anatomy, prevalence, etiology, diagnosis, treatment; (2) only full, published articles were studied, not abstracts; and (3) all articles were published in English.

DATA EXTRACTION:

All articles were critically evaluated and included the following categories: randomized controlled trials, meta-analyses, uncontrolled clinical trials, uncontrolled comparison studies, nonquantitative systematic reviews, and literature-based reviews.

DATA SYNTHESIS:

We examined 45 references that consisted of 44 journal articles and relevant sections from 1 textbook. Cervical facet joints have been well established in the literature as a common nociceptive pain generator, with an estimated prevalence that ranges from 25% to 66% of chronic axial neck pain. No studies have reported clinical examination findings that are diagnostic for cervical facet mediated pain.

CONCLUSIONS:

Overall the literature provides very limited information regarding the treatment of this condition, with only radiofrequency neurotomy showing evidence of effectively reducing pain from cervical facet joint dysfunction.

PMID:
18374011
DOI:
10.1016/j.apmr.2007.11.028
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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