What is the prevalence of lumbosacral facet syndrome in the US?

Updated: Nov 19, 2018
  • Author: Gerard A Malanga, MD; Chief Editor: Craig C Young, MD  more...
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LBP is the most common musculoskeletal disorder of industrialized society and the most common cause of disability in persons younger than 45 years. Given that 90% of adults experience LBP sometime in their lives, the fact that it is the second leading cause for visits to primary care physicians and the most frequent reason for visits to orthopedic surgeons or neurosurgeons is not surprising. As the primary cause of work-related injuries, LBP is the most costly of all medical diagnoses when time off from work, long-term disability, and medical and legal expenses are taken into account. [73]

The lumbosacral Z-joint is reported to be the source of pain in 15-40% of patients with chronic LBP. Ray believed that Z-joint–mediated pain is the etiology for most cases of mechanical LBP, [15] whereas other authors have argued that it may contribute to nearly 80% of cases. Thus, the diagnosis and treatment of this entity may help alleviate LBP in a significant number of patients.

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