Table 8

Studies evaluating the association between MRI imaging pathology and facet pain

Author, yearPatient populationDesignResultsComments
Daimon et al 20199481 pts presenting immediately and 20 years after whiplash injury for MRIProspective longitudinalProgression of degeneration on MRI was observed in 95% of subjects. Changes in neck pain severity was not associated with progression of degenerative changes on MRIC4–5 and C5–6 levels most frequently exhibited degeneration
Nevalainen et al 201615173 pts with MRI studies demonstrating cervical facet edemaRetrospectiveSignificant correlation between neck pain and/or unilateral radiculopathy and ipsilateral bone marrow edema. No correlation between pain intensity and severity of edema9% prevalence of cervical facet edema, most commonly at C3–4, C4–5, and C2–3. The study did not confirm the presence of facet-mediated pain through diagnostic blocks
Cohen et al 20072092 pts who underwent cervical facet RFA after positive MBBRetrospectiveThe only clinical variable associated with positive response to cervical medial branch RFA was paraspinal tendernessFacet pathology was noted on cervical spine MRI in 48% of pts but was not predictive of treatment outcome
  • MBB, medial branch block; MRI, magnetic resonance imaging; pts, patients; RFA, radiofrequency ablation.