Morphological and radiographic parameters of facet joints and their dependence on the grade of intervertebral disc degeneration

Krivoshein A.E., Konev V.P., Kolesov S.V., Moskovsky S.N., Ignatiev Y.T., Nikitenko S.A., Erofeev S.A.


To study morphological and radiological parameters of facet joints depending on the grade of the intervertebral disk degeneration.
Materials and methods
To study the facet joints of the lumbar spine in 145 patients with various grades of degeneration according to Pfirrmann and treated using rigid fixation and TLIF technology, MSCT in 2-energy mode and morphological investigation of the intraoperative material were performed.
In Pfirrmann grade 2, an increase in the volumetric content of chondrocytes, Hounsfield density of the cartilage plate, and the level of Ca in the facet joints was visualized. They indicate that the joint remains functional. In Pfirrmann grade 5, deep pathological changes occurred with violation of the architectonics of the cartilage formations of the facet joints, formation of bone elements and connective tissue growth into the cartilage and bone structures of the joint, which correlated with the results of MSCT.
The data obtained show that there is a close relationship between morphological and radiological changes in the facet joints. Modulating the data obtained allows us to obtain objective criteria for evaluating the grade of pathological processes in facet joints and use them as a diagnostic component when planning decompression and stabilizing operations in patients with degenerative diseases of the lumbar spine.


disc degeneration, facet joint, adjacent disc, MSCT, morphology

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