The management of traumatic cervical bilateral facet fracture-dislocations with unicortical anterior plates

J Spinal Disord. 2000 Oct;13(5):374-81. doi: 10.1097/00002517-200010000-00002.


The goal of this study was to evaluate single-level anterior cervical discectomy and stabilization for bilateral facet fracture dislocations using bone graft and anterior titanium plates with unicortical screw fixation in the clinical setting. We conducted a retrospective review during a consecutive 6-year period of patients treated in a single institution for traumatic single-level cervical bilateral facet fracture-dislocation. All fracture-dislocations that could be aligned with traction were subsequently stabilized using an anterior cervical discectomy with bone graft and titanium unicortical locking plates. All patients were examined after operation for radiographic evidence of healing and neurologic outcome. Twenty-two patients (M:F ratio, 16:6; average age, 47.7 years) underwent an anterior cervical discectomy and stabilization with either an allograft (n = 12) or an autograft (n = 10) and a titanium unicortical locking plate. Most patients had sustained a spinal cord injury (87%) or a radicular injury (9%). The average follow-up was 32 months, with a minimum follow-up of 1 year (range, 13 to 77 months). There was one instrumentation-related failure, but all 22 patients ultimately had evidence of stability at the instrumented level on the final follow-up examination. Anterior fixation with unicortical cervical locking plates as a single procedure offers an excellent surgical alternative in the management of many cervical bilateral facet fracture dislocations in patients who can be reduced preoperatively.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bone Plates / standards
  • Bone Plates / statistics & numerical data*
  • Bone Screws / standards
  • Bone Screws / statistics & numerical data
  • Bone Transplantation / methods
  • Cervical Vertebrae / injuries*
  • Cervical Vertebrae / pathology
  • Cervical Vertebrae / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Joint Dislocations / complications
  • Joint Dislocations / pathology
  • Joint Dislocations / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck Injuries / complications
  • Neck Injuries / pathology
  • Neck Injuries / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Spinal Fractures / complications
  • Spinal Fractures / pathology
  • Spinal Fractures / surgery*
  • Spinal Fusion / instrumentation*
  • Spinal Fusion / methods
  • Zygapophyseal Joint / injuries*
  • Zygapophyseal Joint / pathology
  • Zygapophyseal Joint / surgery*