Table 7

Studies evaluating the association between CT imaging pathology and facet pain

Author, yearPatient populationDesignResultsComments
Tiwari et al 20208710 pts were referred for cervical spine CT for reasons unrelated to spinal painCross-sectionalFacet joint arthritis on CT was negatively associated with patient-reported neck painSubgroup analysis of only 10 pts
Kim et al 20198550 pts who received CT scans for non-spinal pathologies. Pts with neck pain were excludedRetrospective33.4% prevalence of asymptomatic cervical facet arthritisC6–7 joint was most likely to demonstrate arthritic changes with findings more common among older (≥40 years) pts
Rydman et al 201993121 pts present to the emergency department for neck pain after MVC with a cervical CT scan performed at admissionProspective longitudinalModerate facet joint degeneration, but not disc degeneration, was associated with persistent pain after 6 monthsRegions of mild and severe facet degeneration were not associated with recovery
Le Clec’h et al 201697121 pts who underwent cervical IA facet injections based on MRI or CT imaging findings (91 pts) vs palpation for pain (30 pts)Prospective observationalA greater proportion of pts referred for injections based on pain palpation reported relief for up to 1 monthCervical facet joint injections were completed under CT guidance
Morishita et al 200886215 pts with degenerative disease of the cervical spineRetrospectiveNeck pain was more common among pts with hypertrophic changes in facet jointsDid not control for confounding variables
Hechelhammer et al 20079637 pts who underwent 50 cervical IA facet joint injectionsRetrospectiveNo statistically significant difference in pain relief from cervical facet joint blocks based on osteoarthritis gradeIA injections performed under CT guidance.
56% of injections were peri-articular, 40% were peri- and IA, and 4% were IA
  • CT, computed tomography; IA, intra-articular; MRI, magnetic resonance imaging; MVC, motor vehicle collision; pts, patients.