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Journal of Craniovertebral Junction and Spine
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 36-45

Prevalence of facet joint arthritis and its association with spinal pain in mountain population – A cross-sectional study

1 Department of Orthopaedics, Maharishi Markandeshwar Medical College and Hospital, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, India
2 Department of Radiodiagnosis, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bathinda, Punjab, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, Kalpana Chawla Government Medical College, Karnal, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Harmeet Kaur
Department of Radiodiagnosis, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bathinda, Punjab
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_121_19

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Introduction: People living in the mountains are subject to tough terrain and climbing biomechanics which lead to degeneration of the spine and Facet joint arthritis (FJA). Aims: The goal of present study was (1) to know the prevalence of facet joint arthritis on CT scans in mountain population in regard to (a) different levels in spine (b) age (c) sex (2) to know if there is any significant association between FJA and spinal pain at that corresponding level. Materials and Methods: Bilateral Facet joints of 210 participants (age range, 18 to 97 years) who underwent MDCT imaging for reasons other than spinal pain, were graded and statistically analysed with SPSS software in this study. FJA was defined as at least one joint affected by facet joint disease (grade 2). Results: In our study, Seventy two men (68.5%) and eighty four women (80%) had Facet Joint arthritis. The difference between men and women in the prevalence of FJA was not statistically significant (P = 0.058). The increasing age demonstrated a higher prevalence of facet joint arthritis with statistical significance (P = 0.000). In dorsal and lumbar spine region, there was a statistically significant difference in prevalence of FJA according to spinal level. The prevalence of FJA grade 2 in cervical and dorsal spine region was associated with spinal pain in both men (P = 0.000) and women (P = 0.000). However, no statistically significant association was found between FJA grade 2 and spinal pain in lumbar spine region in both males (P = 0.680) and females (P = 0.680) as well as in total population (P = 0.513). Conclusions: People residing and actually ambulating in the mountain regions and exposed to the terrain have higher prevalence of Facet joint arthritis as compared to general population and this may be an independent risk factor for development of facet joint arthritis. However, a statistically significant relation between FJA and spinal pain exists only in cervical and dorsal spine.

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