Oppenheimer ossicle

Dr Patrick J Rock and Dr Henry Knipe et al.

Oppenheimer ossicles are accessory ossicles associated with the facet joints found in ~4% (range 1-7%) 1 of lumbar spines

Oppenheimer ossicles are thought to arise as a result of non-union of a secondary ossification center of the articular process. They predominantly occur as a single, unilateral ossicle of the inferior articular processes of the lumbar spine although it can also occur at the superior articular process. 

History and etymology

Oppenheimer nodules were first described by Albert Oppenheimer in 1942 4.

Differential diagnosis

  • fracture of the articular process: an Oppenheimer ossicle will demonstrate regular, well-defined corticated margins
Anatomy: Spine

Article information

rID: 25748
Section: Anatomy
Tag: cases, cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Ossicles of Oppenheimer
  • Oppenheimer's ossicles
  • Oppenheimer ossicles
  • Oppenheimer's ossicle

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: arrowed
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  • Case 2
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