Thoracolumbar spinal fractures: Magerl classification

Magerl classification 1 is based on the three column concept by Denis 2, and the McAfee classification 3. It relies exclusively on CT findings.


A: compression injuries
  • A1: impaction fractures
    • A1.1: endplate impaction
    • A1.2: wedge impaction
    • A1.3: vertebral body collapse
  • A2: split fractures
    • A2.1: frontal split fracture
    • A2.2: sagittal split fracture
    • A2.3: pincer fracture
  • A3: burst fractures
    • A3.1: incomplete burst fracture
    • A3.2: burst split fracture
    • A3.3: complete burst fracture
      • A3.3.1: pincer
      • A3.3.2: flexion
      • A3.3.3: axial
B: distraction injuries
  • B1: predominantly transligamentous flexion-distraction injury
    • B1.1: with transverse disc disruption
      • B1.1.1: flexion subluxation
      • B1.1.2: anterior dislocation
      • B1.1.3: B1.1.1 or B1.1.2 the with fractures of the articular processes
    • B1.2: with type A vertebral body fracture
  • B2: predominantly osseous flexion-distraction injury
    • B2.1: transverse bicolumn fracture
    • B2.2: posterior osseous disruption with transverse disc disruption
      • B2.2.1: through the pedicles
      • B2.2.2: through the interarticular portions (flexion spondylolysis)
    • B2.3: with type A vertebral body fracture
      • B2.3.1: through the pedicles
      • B2.3.2: through the isthmus
  • B3: anterior disruption through the disc
    • B3.1: hyperextension-subluxation
    • B3.2: hyperextension-spondylolysis
    • B3.3: posterior dislocation
C: torsion injuries
  • C1: rotation-compression injury
    • C1.1: impaction
    • C1.2: split
    • C1.3: burst
  • C2: rotation-distraction injury
    • C2.1: with transligamentous flexion-distraction
    • C2.2: with transosseous flexion-distraction
    • C2.3: with hyperextension-distraction
  • C3: rotational shear injury

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