Provocative Facet Joint and Synovial Cyst Arthrography

If an MRI has not been sufficient in identifying the cause of spine pain, a physician may use a provocative facet join and synovial cyst arthrography for a detailed look at the area in question.  In this procedure, the physician will inject a contrast agent in the area of the facet joints in question, and attempt to provoke the pain that he or she is attempting to t.  By correlating the pain with the images from arthrography, he or she will have a clearer view of potential issues, such as a cynovial cyst.

To learn more, contact North American Spine for a case review and detailed information.

Definitions:
Provocative test:  a test in which a physician attempts to provoke a response, such as pain, in order to diagnose the condition
Arthrography:  a type of x-ray examination using contrast agents to provide an image of joints such as a facet joint, an elbow or knee
Facet joint:  a joint in the spine that links the vertebrae
Synovial cyst:  a sac of fluid that forms within the synovium; often benign, these cysts may lead to spinal stenosis or other nerve pressure, leading to spine pain
Synovium:  a thin film of tissue that provides fluid to lubricate the facet joints