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The facet joints are two small joints which exist at each level of the spine.
When the spine bends forwards (flexes) these facet joints open and when the spine bends backwards (extends) these facet joints close down and lock the movements of the spine.
Due to this anatomy, the facet joints tend to bear significant weight and take much of the strain on the spine when in positions that involve more extension of the lower spine. These include standing and walking.
Some individuals may have other structural problems in their lower spine which makes the spinal joints unstable. This can place a greater strain on the facet joints and can also lead to inflammation and pain.
The third reason is that these joints may suffer from age related changes (osteoarthritis).
Under normal circumstances, if the facet joints are suspected to be the source of the pain a trial injection will be considered to assess whether this gives adequate pain relief prior to considering a facet joint denervation.
Through this hollow tube they are able to use a radiofrequency machine which heats the nerve supplying the facet joints. This heating effect essentially kills the nerve and thereby denervating it. You will be able to go home on the same day as the procedure and will be asked to carry on with normal daily activities once the procedure has been completed.