Mechanism Flexion and Rotation

UNILATERAL INTERFACETAL DISLOCATION Simultaneous forces of flexion and rotation can produce a unilateral facet dislocation. The articular mass and inferior facet on one side of the vertebra are anteriorly dislocated ( Fig.264-9). Radiographically, the AP view will reveal the rotation, because the spinous processes will not be projected directly over one another. The affected spinous process will point toward the side of the vertebra that is dislocated. The involved vertebra will be displaced anteriorly less than 50 percent of the width of a vertebra on the lateral view. The dislocation is mechanically stable unless there is a fracture at the base of the inferior articular mass of the dislocated vertebra or a fracture of the superior articular mass of the inferior vertebra. Immediate consultation of a specialist is recommended because of the long-term complications of an unreduced injury.16

FIG. 264-9. Unilateral facet dislocation.

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