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J Korean Radiol Soc. 1999 May;40(5):957-963. Korean. Original Article.
Ha JJ , Kim DH , Lee JH , Lee K , Kwon HP , Kwon JH , Yun SM .
Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Dongkang General Hospital, Korea.
Department of Neurosurgery, Dongkang General Hospital, Korea.

PURPOSE: To evaluate injury patterns of facet joints and associated soft tissue injuries in patients withacute traumatic cervical facet joint injuries. MATERIALS AND METHODS: From among patients with cervical spinetrauma, 27 with facet joint injuries, as seen on CT and MRI, were chosen for this study. CT scans were analyzedwith regard to the location of facet joint injury, the presence or absence of facet dislocation or fracture, andother associated fractures. MR images were analyzed with regard to ligament injury, intervertebral disc injury,intervertebral disc herniation, and spinal cord injury. RESULTS: The most common location of facet joint injurywas C6-7 level(n=10), followed by C5-6(n=8). Among these 27 patients with facet joint injuries, 12(44%) hadbilateral injuries and 15(56%) unilateral injuries. Facet fractures were present in 17 cases(63%) and the fractureof inferior facet was more frequent than superi-or. Patterns of fracture were vertical, transverse, or comminuted,but vertical fracture was the most common. Various degrees of dislocation were observed in patients with facetfractures. Fractures other than facet includ-ed pillar(n=11), lamina(n=6), transverse process(n=14), body(n=13),and spinous process(n=3). On MR im-ages, anterior longitudinal ligament injury was found in 8 patients(30%),posterior longitudinal ligament injury in 4(15%), and interspinous ligament injury in 20(74%). Twelvepatients(44%) had spinal cord injuries includ-ing edema(n=8) and hemorrhage(n=4). Among patients with discabnormalities, 11(41%) had intervertebral disc injuries, and traumatic disc herniations were found in nine. CONCLUSION: Traumatic cervical facet joint injuries were manifested as various patterns and frequentlyassoci-ated with other fractures or soft tissue injuries. Analysis of CT and MR findings of these injury patternshelped formulate a therapeutic plan and determine of prognosis.

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