I have extensive, advanced facet joint arthritis in my entire lumbar spine based on my MRI and I have overall good disc height and good disc health (minus a minor protrusion at L3 and L5). I've been doing internet research on facet joint replacements. I'll start doing some Pub Med searches too. Does anyone know anything about this and or have first hand experience with facet joint replacements? I meet with my spinal surgeon next week to discuss my condition and I'd like to understand ALL possibilities regarding my lumbar arthritis. I am in the beginning stages of understanding the spine. ()I am an expert with knees and ankles as I had a bilateral PFJR (patella femoral joint replacement) two years ago, which is considered controversial in that there isn't enough long term follow-up to determine the success of it. My meniscus was pristine, my knee-cap and femoral groove were completely worn away...MUCH like my facet joints.
Let me walk
If you don't mind being a guinea pig, then facet replacement surgery might be for you! I don't know if it has widespread approval yet. If it isn't still in the experimental stage, it isn't far out from that point. With all the problems you appear to have with degeneration of the facets, it would certainly be worth looking into.
I would imagine you would have to seek out a spine surgeon with some experience with this surgery. Very few would have it at this point.
Yes, I know that very few spine surgeons have this experience (just like my PFJR...had to seek out a qualified OS for that). I am just trying to get all information ready and organized for my spine consult next week.
I'm glad to see that doctors are exploring other solutions than the tried and true standard procedures. At least they are also starting to look at other sources of back pain at whatever level it is at than the standard stuff too.
I have facet joint issues also, but not to that severity. Eventually, it will get there though, so it will be nice if there are more options available when the RF Ablation doesn't work for me any longer.