Bilateral cervical locked facets

Case contributed by Dr Chris O'Donnell


Motorbike accident, unable to move legs

Patient Data

Age: 25
Gender: Male

Bilateral anterior dislocation of the facet joints (C6-C7 level) causing gross distorsion to the spinal canal. No fracture.

Case Discussion

The findings are compatible with bilateral locked facets.

Locked facets occurs when, after a injury of the apophyseal joint ligaments and facet joint dislocation, the inferior articular facet of superior vertebral body is locked in front of the superior facet of the inferior vertebral body. In effect, it causes some stabilization of the spine and protect against further injury. 

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Case information

rID: 21424
Published: 22nd Jan 2013
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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