Which physical findings are characteristic of lumbosacral facet syndrome?

Updated: Nov 19, 2018
  • Author: Gerard A Malanga, MD; Chief Editor: Craig C Young, MD  more...
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No historical findings or examination maneuver is unique or specific to Z-joint–mediated LBP. In fact, some authors report up to a 45% false-positive rate when the physical examination findings are correlated to diagnostic medial branch blocks of the posterior rami. Many clinicians agree that correlating history or physical examination findings with pain emanating from the Z-joint is a challenge.

Patients with Z-joint–mediated LBP usually have nonspecific history and physical examination findings. An in-depth evaluation of the neurologic and musculoskeletal systems helps exclude other diagnoses and guides the clinician to possible Z-joint pathology.

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