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A 35-year-old member asked:

What are the causes of hypertrophic changes in facet joints of the cervical spine?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gamal Boutros
Neurology 39 years experience
Inflamatory arthriti: Rheumatoid arthritis, trauma, are a few causes among others, osteoarthritis advanced age.
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 40 years experience
Your age, smoking: Aging, smoking, prior neck injury all can be a factor of overgrowth of the facet joints which is a sign of degeneration. Whiplash injuries in over 50% of cases involve some facet joint component that can accelerate degenerative changes that occur normally with age. Smoking accelerates this degeneration by affecting the rate the discs degenerate causing narrowing & secondarily affecting joints.

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Last updated May 10, 2021

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