You are here

Facet Fracture




Facet Fracture ICD-9

Facet Fracture Etiology / Epidemiology / Natural History

  • Common, generally involve the superior facet.

Facet Fracture Anatomy

    Facet Fracture Clinical Evaluation

    • Palpate entire spine for tenderness / step off.
    • Complete neuro exam: motor strength, pin-prick sensation, reflexes, cranial nerves, rectal examination (perineal pin-prick sensation, sphincter tone, volitional spincter control)
    • Absence of the bulbocaverosus reflex indicates spinal shock. Level of spinal injury can not be determined until bulbocaverosus reflex has returned.
    • See ASIA form.

    Facet Fracture Xray / Diagnositc Tests

    Facet Fracture Classification / Treatment

    • Unilateral, Nondisplaced, no subluxation: orthosis for 6-12 weeks.
    • Unilateral, >40% of lateral mass height, or with associated discoligamentous disruption: are unstable. Treatment = fusion
    • Bilateral: unstable. Treatment = fusion
    • Floating lateral mass fracture: lamina and ipsilateral pedicle of the same segment are fractured, assoicated with radiculopathy. Treatment = fusion

    Facet Fracture Associated Injuries / Differential Diagnosis

    • Occipital Condyle Fracture
    • Occipitocervical Dissociation
    • Atlas fracture
    • C2 fracture
    • Odontoid fracture
    • Facet Dislocation
    • Burst Fracture
    • Compression Fracture
    • Spinal Cord Injury

    Facet Fracture Complications

    Facet Fracture Follow-up Care

    Facet Fracture Review References

    • °


    The information on this website is intended for orthopaedic surgeons.  It is not intended for the general public. The information on this website may not be complete or accurate.  The eORIF website is not an authoritative reference for orthopaedic surgery or medicine and does not represent the "standard of care".  While the information on this site is about health care issues and sports medicine, it is not medical advice. People seeking specific medical advice or assistance should contact a board certified physician.  See Site Terms / Full Disclaimer