Vertebral Joint Arthroses

In much the same way that knee joint frequently develops arthrosis due to wear and tear, the same can happen in the spine's lumbar area. With a spondylarthrosis, the small joints between the vertebrae in the lumbar and cervical spine are affected by these signs of wear and tear. People over 50 often suffer from these spondylarthroses.

The connecting joints are also known as facet joints since their smooth, almost elegant form is reminiscent of a polished precious stone. Primarily, wear and tear leads to increased friction and abrasion, just like in a ball-bearing, resulting in inflammatory articular disease, similar to what is known in the knees and hips. This includes the typical run-in and movement pain, and, in acute states, additional back pain. The body reacts to the wear of the cartilage of the facet joints with a compensation program. It produces more bone mass and the bone located underneath the cartilage becomes broader. Because the nerve root emanating from the spinal canal runs directly along the vertebral joint, the thickened bone's bulges and edges can result in a constriction at the nerve's exit.

In time, this can produce synovial cysts. Due to an increase in synovial joint fluid, this can lead to the emergence of pockets inside the articular capsule, which , too, can result in pressure on the nerves. The body reacts to this pain by assuming postures that relieve it, and with muscle tenseness. Affected patients feel this pain more while standing up, rather than when lying down. A synovial cyst often radiates pain into the leg and can even cause symptoms of paralysis and feelings of numbness – similar to a prolapsed intervertebral disk.

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