Zygapophysial joint

Zygapophysial joint

Infobox Anatomy
Latin = articulationes zygapophysiales
GraySubject =
GrayPage =

Caption = A thoracic vertebra. (Superior labeled at top; inferior labeled at bottom.)

Caption2 = Median sagittal section of two lumbar vertebræ and their ligaments.
System =
MeshName = zygapophyseal+joint
MeshNumber = A02.835.583.979
DorlandsPre = a_64
DorlandsSuf = 12161688
A zygapophysial joint (zygapophyseal, or facet joint) is a synovial joint between the superior articular process of one vertebra and the inferior articular process of the vertebra directly above it. There are two facet joints in each spinal motion segment.

The biomechanical function of each pair of facet joints is to guide and limit movement of the spinal motion segment. In the lumbar spine, for example, the zygapophysial joints prevent rotation in the transverse plane, whilst allowing sagittal rotation (flexion and extension) and a small amount of frontal rotation (lateral bending). These functions can be disrupted by degeneration, dislocation, fracture, instability from trauma, osteoarthritis, and surgery.

ee also

* Articular processes
* Zygapophysis
* Artificial facet replacement

External links

* - "Lumbar Vertebral Column, Posterolateral View"
* [http://www.spineuniverse.com/displaygraphic.php/145/facetjoints2-BB.jpgDiagram at spineuniverse.com]
* [http://www.necksurgery.com/images/facetjoint2.jpgDiagram at necksurgery.com]

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