apophyseal joints

Facet joints, also known as apophyseal or zygapophyseal joints, are the articulations of the posterior arch of the vertebrae and form part of the posterior column.

Gross anatomy

They are symmetrical synovial-lined joints with a fibrous capsule that connect the articular facets of the vertebrae. The superior facet of the lower vertebra articulates with the inferior facet of the vertebra above.

The facet joints are situated between the pedicle and lamina of the same vertebra and form the articular pillars that act to provide structural stability to the vertebral column as a whole.


The facet joints kept fixed in position by the posterior ligamentous complex.


Pain sensation of the facet joint capsule and synovial folds is provided by the medial branch of the dorsal ramus .

Related pathology

See also

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