Oppenheimer ossicle

Dr Henry Knipe et al.

Oppenheimer ossicles are accessory ossicles associated with the facet joints found in ~4% (range 1-7%) 1 of lumbar spines

Oppenheimer ossicles are thought to arise as a result of non-union of a secondary ossification center of the articular process. They predominantly occur as a single, unilateral ossicle of the inferior articular processes of the lumbar spine although it can also occur at the superior articular process. 

Differential diagnosis

  • fracture of the articular process: an Oppenheimer ossicle will demonstrate regular, well-defined corticated margins
Anatomy: Spine

Article information

rID: 25748
Section: Anatomy
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Ossicles of Oppenheimer
  • Oppenheimer's ossicles
  • Oppenheimer ossicles
  • Oppenheimer's ossicle

Cases and figures

  • Case 1: arrowed
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  • Case 2
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