Suprisingly (or not) there is no prevertebral soft tissue swelling. It is a highly non specific finding found a lot more with flexion teardrop extension. Flexion & extension teardrop are both antero-inferiorfractures of the vertebral body. Flexion teardrop is considered one of the most unstable cervical fracture.
Apart from the trauma mechanism, flexion & extension teardrop can be distinguished :
-Vertical diameter of the fragment > or = to its horizontal diameter
-Angle of 35° with the vertebral endplate
-Associated with interspinal ligaments rupture (widening of the posterior elements)
-Loss of height of the anterior vertebral body
Extension teardrop is treated conservatively with immobilization (C spine collar). Flexion teardrop is treated surgically