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Flexion teardrop fractures

Case contributed by Dr Matt Skalski


Dove into shallow water.

Patient Data

Age: 16
Gender: Male

The normal cervical lordosis is reversed, centered around C4/C5. There are fractures involving the anterior third of the C4 and C5 vertebral bodies with large triangular fragments which predominately involve the anteroinferior portions of the vertebral bodies. The fracture fragments are minimally anteriorly displaced from their native location. No significant pre-vertebral soft-tissue fullness is present. 


Kyphotic deformity of the cervical spine, with coronally oriented fractures of the anteroinferior portions of the C4 and C5 vertebral bodies, with large triangular fracture fragments (teardrop fractures) suggesting a flexion mechanism. At C4, an additional fracture line extends sagitally through the entire diameter of the mid-sagittal portion of the vertebral body. The spinal canal is patent.  

Case Discussion

Typical examples of flexion teardrop fractures, but without significant complication. This patient was managed conservatively without complication. 

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Case information

rID: 53841
Published: 16th Jun 2017
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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