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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Bony Fusion in a Chronic Cervical Bilateral Facet Dislocation

Unusual clinical course

Alexa Bodman, Lawrence Chin

USA Department of Neurosurgery, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, USA

Am J Case Rep 2015; 16:104-108

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.892173

Available online: 2015-02-22

Published: 2015-02-22


Background: Cervical facet dislocation injuries typically present shortly after occurrence due to the pain and neurologic deficit that can be associated with this injury. Bilateral dislocations of the facet joint require prompt evaluation, reduction, and surgical intervention. Rare case reports present bilateral dislocations presenting in a delayed fashion.
Case Report: We report the case of a 60-year-old male who presented with mild neck pain 1 year after initial injury. Computed topography of the cervical spine showed healing with bony fusion of a bilateral C6-7 facet dislocation. Given the chronic healed nature of the injury and minimal symptoms, the patient is being followed without intervention.
Conclusions: Although most bilateral facet dislocations present and are treated immediately after injury; this case illustrates that some may be missed during initial evaluation. Once healed, these injuries may be stable without surgical intervention.

Keywords: Cervical Vertebrae - injuries, Ankylosis - therapy, Chronic Disease, Dislocations - radiography, Neck Pain - therapy, Zygapophyseal Joint - injuries