Pathria grading system of lumbar facet joint degeneration

Last revised by Joachim Feger on 12 Jan 2023

The Pathria grading system is used to classify osteoarthritis in lumbar facet joint degeneration.


This grading system is based on CT findings 1,2.


  • grade 1: normal CT scan with no degenerative findings

  • grade 2: mild joint space narrowing noted, small osteophytes

  • grade 3: narrowing of joint space, sclerosis and moderate-size osteophytes

  • grade 4: severe osteoarthritic changes, large osteophytes, narrowing of joint space, sclerosis and subchondral cysts 3

History and etymology

This classification was developed by the American radiologist Mini Pathria in 1987 4.

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