Three patients sustained a lateral distraction injury to the thoracic or
lumbar spine. These injuries were associated with multiple fractures of the
ribs and extremities as well as with thoracic and abdominal visceral
injuries. No patient had an injury to the spinal cord or cauda equina. The
injuries to the spine were successfully treated with open reduction of the
unilateral subluxation of the facet joint and with internal fixation with
Harrington instrumentation. Fusion was achieved with the spine in
anatomical alignment, without any complications, in all three patients.