Unilateral facet dislocation

Unilateral facet dislocation is a relatively stable type of facet dislocation.

Mechanism

Flexion/distraction associated with rotation. The inferior articular facet of vertebral above moves over the superior facet of the vertebral below and becomes locked. It usually affects C4-C5 or C5-C6 levels.

Plain radiograph
  • anterolisthesis of less than 25%
  • bow-tie sign: rotated facets on lateral view
  • rotation and misalignment of spinous processes on AP view which point to the involved side
  • widening of the interspinous space at affected level
CT
MRI

MRI is used to detect other soft tissue injuries like disc herniation and cord oedema/contusion.

30% of these injuries are associated with neurological deficit.

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Article information

rID: 2240
Section: Gamuts
Tag: refs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Unilateral facet dislocations
  • Unilateral facet joint dislocation
  • Unilateral facet joint dislocations

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Cases and figures

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    Case 1
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    Case 2
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    Case 3
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    Case 4: locked facet on left
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