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03 March 2018 : Clinical Research

Management of Severe Lower Cervical Facet Dislocation without Vertebral Body Fracture Using Skull Traction and an Anterior Approach

De-Chao Miao1AG, Can Qi1BC, Feng Wang1CF, Kuan Lu1CF, Yong Shen1AG*

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: CLR1295-1302

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Cervical facet dislocation is the anterior displacement of one cervical vertebral body on another. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical efficacy of skull traction through an anterior cervical approach in the treatment of severe lower cervical facet dislocation without vertebral body fracture.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Forty subjects with severe lower cervical facet dislocation, without vertebral body fracture, were treated between February 2010 and December 2013. Road traffic accident was the primary cause of injury. Patients presented with dislocated segments in C3–C4 (n=4), C4–C5 (n=4), C5–C6 (n=12), and C6–C7 (n=20). Twenty-six patients had unilateral facet dislocation, and 14 patients had bilateral facet dislocation. Spinal injuries were graded according to the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) impairment scale and included grade A (eight cases), grade B (six cases), grade C (six cases), grade D (12 cases), and grade E (eight cases). The mean follow-up time was 4.2 years.

RESULTS: All procedures were completed successfully, with no major complications. Postoperative X-rays showed satisfactory height for the cervical intervertebral space and recovery of the vertebral sequence. Bone fusion was completed within four to six months after surgery. Surgery significantly improved neurological function in all patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Skull traction and an anterior approach can be used to successfully treat severe lower cervical facet dislocation, obtaining complete decompression, good reduction, and maintenance of intervertebral height with retention of the physiological curvature of the cervical spine.

Keywords: Dislocations, Fracture Fixation, Spinal Cord Injuries, Spinal Fractures

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750