Facet Joints (fah-set) are also called Zygapophyseal Joints (zye-gap-o-fiz-e-al). These joints are located in the posterior spine and help to enable spinal movement. The cervical, thoracic and lumbar vertebrae each have a pair of facet joints. The facets from the upper and lower vertebrae join together (like entwined fingers) to form a facet joint. Like other joints in the body, the articulating surfaces (ar-tick-you-late-ing) are coated with smooth cartilage to facilitate movement.
This article is an excerpt from the book Save Your Aching Back and Neck: A Patient’s Guide, edited by Dr. Stewart Eidelson.