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Imaging of facet joint diseases

  • Robert M. Kwee
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: Department of Radiology, Zuyderland Medical Center, Henri Dunantstraat 5, 6419 PC Heerlen, the Netherlands.
    Affiliations
    Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Zuyderland Medical Center, Heerlen/Sittard/Geleen, the Netherlands
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  • Thomas C. Kwee
    Affiliations
    Medical Imaging Center, Department of Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
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      Highlights

      • Several pathologies can occur in and around the facet joint.
      • Imaging is the mainstay to detect and characterize facet joint diseases.
      • Knowledge of distinctive imaging characteristics is essential for radiologists.

      Abstract

      Facet joints are the important articular pillars of the spine. Several pathologies can occur in and around the facet joint, including extra ossicles, traumatic dislocation, osteoarthritis, synovial cyst, axial spondyloarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease, septic arthritis, and malignant and benign neoplasms. Imaging is the mainstay to detect and characterize these diseases. In this review, we discuss the anatomy and function of facet joints, imaging techniques, and the imaging findings of several facet joint diseases. This information may be helpful to radiologists to make the correct diagnosis and optimize the management of patients with facet joint diseases.

      Keywords

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