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J Korean Neurosurg Soc. 2003 Jul;34(1):1-4. Korean. Original Article.
Bae YK , Bae JH , Kim SH , Kim OL , Choi BY , Cho SH .
Department of Neurosurgery, Yeungnam University College of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.

OBJECTIVE: We present an evaluation of the safety and effectiveness of anterior reduction and stabilization of unilateral locked facet of the cervical spine. METHODS: Nine patients with unilateral locked facet of the cervical spine were treated with anterior decompression, reduction and stabilization from January 1997 through December 2000. There were six male and three female patients who ranged in age from 22 to 59 years (average 37.4 years). The level of facet dislocation was C4-5 in one, C5-6 in four, and C6-7 in four patients. One patient presented with complete spinal cord injury, two patients with incomplete spinal cord injury, four patients with radioculopathy, and two patients were neurologically intact. All patients underwent plain radiogram, computed tomogram scan, and magnetic resonance imaging. All patients underwent surgery for anterior open reduction, decompression and stabilization using bone graft and anterior cervical plate fixation systems. The mean follow-up periods was 11.9 months. RESULTS: All patients showed good decompression, reduction and stabilization without postoperative complications. Two patients showed vertebral artery thrombosis at facet locked side, but no cerebral ischemic symptoms. Follow-up neurological status was unchanged in two patients and improved in 7 patients. No patient experienced neurological deterioration or complications after this procedure. All patients showed good bony fusion without instability at follow-up period. CONCLUSION: Our results show that anterior decompression, reduction and stabilization procedure are safe and effective method in unilateral locked facet of the cervical spine without significant complications.

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