Unilateral facet dislocation

Case contributed by RMH Core Conditions


Neck injury. Focally tender over C6.

Patient Data

Age: 25 years
Gender: Male

Loss of the normal cervical lordosis. Right unilateral facet joint dislocation at the level of C5/6. This results of anterolisthesis of C5 of 5 mm. Likely torn posterior annulus with a small epidural hematoma.

Mild to moderate spinal canal stenosis at this level. As expected, there is slight rotation of the vertebra to the left superior to the C6 level. Anterior subluxation of the left facet joint at C5/6.

Tiny fracture of the tip of the superior articular process of C6 on the right. No other fracture is detected.​

Case Discussion

Unilateral facet dislocations are a serious cervical spine injury, with up to 30% associated with spinal cord injury. 

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