Lumbar Spine, Pelvic, and Hip Injuries
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This is Chapter 26 from RC’s best-selling book:
Second Edition ~ Wiliams & Wilkins
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Chapter 26: LUMBAR SPINE, PELVIC, AND HIP INJURIESFacet Syndromes
The subluxation of lumbar facet structures, states Howe, is a part of all lumbar dyskinesias and must be present if a motor unit is deranged. In a three-point articular arrangement, such as at each vertebral motor unit, no disrelationship can exist that does not derange two of the three articulations. Thus, determination of the integrity or subluxation of the facets in any given motor unit is important in assessing that unit’s status.
Any method of spinographic interpretation which utilizes millimetric measurements from any set of preselected points is most likely to be faulty because structural asymmetry and minor anomaly is universal in all vertebrae. However, the estimation of the integrity of facet joints is a reliable method of assessing the presence of intervertebral subluxation. An evaluation of the alignment of the articular processes comprising a facet joint may be difficult from the A-P or P-A view alone when the plane of the facet facing is other than sagittal or semisaggital. In this case, oblique views of the lumbosacral area are of great value in determining facet alignment since the joint plane and articular surfaces can nearly always be visualized.
When one cannot visually identify disrelationships of the facet articular structures, Howe suggests use of Hadley’s S curve. This is made by tracing a line along the undersurface of the transverse process at the superior and bringing it down the inferior articular surface. This line is joined by a line drawn upward from the base of the superior articular process of the inferior vertebrae of the lower edge of its articular surface. These lines should join to form a smooth S. If the S is broken, subluxation is present. This A-P procedure can be used on an oblique view.
To help differentiate the low back and sciatic neuralgia of a facet syndrome to that of a disc that is protruding:
l. With the patient standing with feet moderately apart, the doctor from behind the patient firmly wraps his arms around the patient’s pelvis and firms his lateral thigh against the back of the patients’ pelvis. The patient is asked to bend forward. If it is a facet involvement, the patient will feel relief. If it is a disc that is stressed, symptoms will be aggravated.
2. In facet involvement, the patient seeks to find relief by sitting with feet elevated and resting upon a stool, chair, or desk. In disc involvement, the patient keeps knees flexed and sits sideways in his chair and moves first to one side and then to the other for relief. If lumbosacral and sacroiliac pain migrates from one to the other side, it is suspected to be associated with arthritic changes.
Lumbosacral instability is a mechanical aberration of the spine which renders it more susceptible to fatigue and/or subsequent trauma by reason of the variance from the optimal structural weight-bearing capabilities. Hariman states that between 50% and 80% of the general population exhibit some degree of the factors which predispose to instability whether by reason of anomalous development of articular relationships or altered relationships due to trauma or disease consequences. It is the most common finding of lumbosacral roentgenography and often brought to light after an athletic strain. (more…)