L1 burst fracture

Case contributed by A.Prof Frank Gaillard


Fall 4.5 meters onto feet.

Patient Data

Age: 40
Gender: Male

There is a comminuted burst 3 column fracture involving the L1 vertebra, including a large retropulsed fragment causing significant stenosis of the central canal. Bilateral L1 transverse process fractures. Associated kyphosis with subluxation of the left T12/L1 facet joint. Minimally displaced fracture through the T12 spinous process is also noted.

Associated retroperitoneal haematoma extends from the T12 level down to the aortic bifurcation, without evidence of active contrast extravasation/bleeding.

No hepatic or splenic laceration or haematoma identified. No intraperitoneal free gas or fluid. The adrenals, kidneys and pancreas are normal. Large  and small bowel is normal limits. The bladder is unremarkable.

Case Discussion

Burst fracture is a type of compression fracture which results in disruption of the posterior vertebral body cortex with retropulsion into the spinal canal. 

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Case information

rID: 30565
Published: 28th Dec 2014
Last edited: 16th Jul 2018
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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