Burst fracture

Case contributed by Dr Ian Bickle


Fall from a height. Pain over L4 region. Fracture?

Patient Data

Age: 25
Gender: Male


Fracture of the L3 vertebral body with 8mm of fragment retropulsion into the spinal canal.

Spinal canal 5mm at this level vis-s-vis 15mm at the normal levels. Oblique fracture extending into the right side of the L3 spinous process

Twenty percent loss of vertebral body height. No involvement of the posterior elements.

The remainder of the vertebra are normal.

Case Discussion

Typical appearances of a burst fracture with the usual mechanism of injury of falling from a significant height.

In some parts of the world, such as this case, a very common clinical history is one of an industrial injury in a construction worker.

How to use cases

You can use Radiopaedia cases in a variety of ways to help you learn and teach.

Creating your own cases is easy.

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.