Pathoanatomy of the Lower Cervical Spine Facet Joints in Motor Vehicle Crash Fatalities

Non-lethal injuries to the cervical spine facet joints have previously been described in decedents from motor vehicle crashes and in clinical settings these joints have been identified as potential culprits in chronic neck pain syndromes. The aim of this study was to conduct a detailed examination of the lower cervical spine facet joints in a forensic cohort of motor vehicle crash victims and controls using comparable data from medicolegal autopsy, stereomicroscopy and histological evaluations. Injuries to the cervical spine facet joints were common in the trauma cases and included facet fractures, haemarthrosis, and disruption and bleeding in the synovial folds. The injuries could not be reliably verified on stereomicroscopic evaluation, and routine autopsy procedures did not reveal any of the injuries to the facet joints. Despite the presence of these pathoanatomical lesions in road traffic crash fatalities their prevalence and potential clinical implications in survivors from motor vehicle crashes is unknown.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Abstract reprinted with permission from Elsevier
  • Authors:
    • Uhrenholt, Lars
    • Charles, Annie Vesterby
    • Hauge, Ellen
    • Gregersen, Markil
  • Publication Date: 2009-7


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01150370
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 30 2010 11:07AM