Barbell injury to cervical spine: C6 "clay-shoveler" fracture

Case contributed by Dr Chris O'Donnell


Lifting 35 kg barbell over head. Dropped onto cervical spine, developed acute neck pain

Patient Data

Age: 25
Gender: Female

Displaced fracture (arrow) through the C6 spinous process


Inferiorly displaced fracture through the spinous process consistent with direct impact injury

Case Discussion

This fracture is usually to hyperflexion with avulsion of the ligamentous attachments to the spinous process. In this case the fracture has been caused by direct impact force form the barbell! In both cases treatment is symptomatic.

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Case information

rID: 27426
Published: 3rd Feb 2014
Last edited: 16th Jul 2018
System: Spine
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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