Facet joint

Dr Craig Hacking and Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

The facet (or apophyseal or zygapophyseal) joints are the articulations of the posterior arch of the vertebrae and form part of the posterior column. 

They are synovial-lined joints that have a fibrous capsule and connect the articular facets of the vertebrae. The superior facet of the lower vertebra articulates with the interior facet of the vertebra above.

The facet joints are situated between the pedicle and lamina of the same vertebra and form the articular pillars that act to provide structural stability to the vertebral column as a whole.

The facet joints are symmetrical and kept fixed in position by the posterior ligamentous complex.

Spinal anatomy
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Article information

rID: 10128
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Facet joints
  • Apophyseal joints
  • Apophyseal joint

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