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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 69  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 237-242

Considering the surface area and sagittal angle in a pair of lumbosacral facets: Determining the structural relevance of asymmetric facets at the lumbosacral junction


1 Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, Abia State University, Uturu; Department of Anatomy, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu Alike Ikwo, Ebonyi State, Enugu, Nigeria
2 Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, Abia State University, Uturu; Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Uli Campus, Anambra State, Enugu, Nigeria
3 Department of Orthopaedic, National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria
4 Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, Abia State University, Uturu; Department of Anatomy, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Uchenna Kenneth Ezemagu
Department of Anatomy, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu Alike Ikwo, Ebonyi State, P.M.B. 1010
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JASI.JASI_53_19

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Introduction: The mechanism of spine dysfunction that was linked to asymmetry in facet joint planes remains poorly understood. We determined the surface area and sagittal angle in a pair of L4, L5, and S1 vertebral facets. We aimed to explain the structural relevance of asymmetric facets at the lumbosacral junction. Material and Methods: Vertebral columns of 45 adult male human cadavers were cut at the L3–L4 intervertebral disc. Each section was macerated and tied together in a sequence to obtain the value of sagittal angle of the superior facets of L4, L5, and S1 vertebrae and area of the inferior facets of L4 and L5 vertebrae, using a modified protractor and graph paper method, respectively. Asymmetry was determined using the formula propound by Plochocki (2002). Results: The mean value of surface area of the left and right inferior facets of L4 and the left and right inferior facets of L5 was 161 ± 24 and 168 ± 23 mm2 and 200 ± 28 and 218 ± 33 mm2, respectively. The mean value of sagittal angle of the left and right superior facets of L4, L5, and S1 was 37.71° ± 4.38°, 36.18° ± 4.8°, 46.96° ± 6.49°, 48.51° ± 6.25°, 52.49° ± 5.1°, and 54.67° ± 5.25°, respectively. The degree of asymmetry in the area of the inferior facets of L4 and L5 ranges from 0% to 30% and 0%–32.26%, respectively, and that for sagittal angle of the superior facets of L4, L5, and S1 was 0%–37.93%, 0%–30.95%, and 0%–26.32%, respectively. Discussion and Conclusion: This study would suggest that despite the statistically significant mean differences in the paired variables, the vertebrae were free of any pathological change but with consequent adaptive features. However, the stress effects would suggest that the left lumbosacral facet joints are predisposed to dysfunction of mechanical origin.


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