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Burst fracture of thoracolumbar spine

Case contributed by Mohamed Salah Ayyad
Diagnosis almost certain

Presentation

Motor vehicle accident

Patient Data

Age: 25 years
Gender: Female

Fracture lines of both L1 and D12 vertebral bodies are seen reaching the posterior cortex with subsequent reduced vertical height suggesting burst fracture of both L1 and D12. There is retropulsion of the posterior fragment of L1 with associated minimal edema of the adjacent conus medullaris suggesting a minor degree of cord contusion.

The posteriorly displaced bone fragment of L1 is associated with edema of the adjacent conus medullaris suggesting a minor degree of cord contusion.

Case Discussion

About 90% of spinal injuries involve the thoracolumbar spine. Burst fracture is a type of compression fracture of vertebral bodies where there is disruption of the posterior cortex and reduced vertical height of the vertebral body.

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