Burst fracture - lumbar spine

Case contributed by Dr Utkarsh Kabra


Back pain following trauma. No sensory loss.

Patient Data

Age: 50 years
Gender: Female

Lumbar spine


Burst fracture of L3 vertebral body with associated mild pre / paravertebral and epidural hematoma. Retropulsion of fracture fragment is seen. Retropulsed fracture fragment, epidural and paravertebral hematoma are causing moderate compression of spinal canal at L3 level and mild compression of bilateral L2-3 neural foramina. Both transverse processes and spinous process appear intact. 

Supraspinous ligament, ligamentum flavum appear grossly intact. Subtle possible sprain of interspinous ligament is seen. Interstitial tears of bilateral psoas muscle seen (R > L).

Degenerative spondylotic changes are seen.

Case Discussion

Findings consistent with burst fracture of L3 vertebral body.

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