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Clinical Focus:Respiratory Care
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December 2010
Clinical Focus: Respiratory Medicine
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doi: 10.3810/psm.1999.11.1109
The Physician and Sportsmedicine: Volume 27: No.12
Lumbar Facet Fracture in an Adolescent Hockey Player
William O. Shaffer, MD; Michael R. Taylor, PAC, ATC; Murali Sundaram, MD
Abstract: A 14-year-old boy was checked hard as he was winding up to shoot in an ice hockey game. He experienced low-back pain during the game but when examined later for complaints of pain and fever, he denied trauma. Plain x-rays were normal, but a bone scan showed increased uptake at L-3. MRI evaluation revealed a lumbar mass; a CT scan showed the mass to be a hematoma and edema secondary to a facet fracture. Acute severe back pain in a hockey player should prompt a careful history and a search for musculoskeletal injury. When trauma in the lumbar spine is suspected and plain radiographs are nondiagnostic, CT scans are more precise than MRI for diagnosing injury.


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