Try to picture this....
The weight of the body is borne on your spine: The vertebra are the main weight-bearing structures, but there are bones on the back portio…n of each vertebrae, and these posts meet with the posts of the vertebra above & below and support part of the your weight, and are called facet joints... Your spinal nerves run down the posterior (back) portion in the tunnel caused by the way these bony structures meet. The individual nerves that have to exit the spinal column do so between the vertebra and these posterior posts, then run to the part of the body they affect. When you run your fingers down the middle of someone's back, you will feel structures called the posterior spinous process: these help make up the roof over the spinal cord area. These are connected to the posts.
These facets are actually joints and help support you as you twist, turn, bend, and reach upward. As joints they are subject to arthritis, which is where the body will begin adding extra bone to make these facet-joints stronger, but also larger. As the spinal disks (shock-absorbers between veterbrae) flatten over the years this begins to cause more of a 'bone-on-bone' pressure of the edges of each vertebrae, which in turn, begins causing the body to treat these 'bone-on-bone' areas like arthritis, leading to bone growth at the edges of each vetebrae..
When this happens enough, primarily in the lumbar area, this bony growth of arthritis actually begins to bulge into the spinal cord area, making this smaller, which can begin to press on the spinal cord. If there is osteoporosis involved ( softening of the vertebral bones) the vertebra can collapse (like stepping on a marshmellow), causing even more bone to put pressure on the spinal cord..
If this narrowing of the spinal cord area becomes great enough, the pressure can build up to the point that once it becomes greater than your blood pressure, your spinal cord nerves can begin to malfunction because they are not getting enough blood and oxygen, and you can lose total --or partial-- use of the nerves involved; if operated on early enough, the person recovers completely. If not, permanent damage will be present in various degrees. Thankfully, only 1-3% of people are allowed to get to this point..
How to fix it? The orthopedic --or neurosurgeon-- removes a part of the back part of the involved vertebras, thus releasing the pressure on the spinal cord nerves. This is surgery called a laminectomy. Approximately 20% of people with this problem ever need surgery. (MORE)
The uncovertebral joints are in the neck between C3 - C7. Thesejoints are where the discs meet. Hypertrophy in these joints meansthat an unusually high number of bone spurs ar…e growing there. Themost common cause of this is arthritis. (MORE)
Facet hypertrophy is when the spine's facet joints enlarge anddegenerate causing stiffness, discomfort, pain, mobility issues, orhunched back. Unconvertebral hypertrophy is wh…en the unconvertebraljoints in the cervical spine develop osteophytes or bone spurs thatcan cause pain, compression, bone loss, or degeneration of discs. (MORE)
The C3 and C4 are 3rd and 4th cervical vertebra. They touch each other toward the posterior surface at the facets. The term mild hypertrophy means that there is a little more …than normal the amount of bone there. See link below: (MORE)