Lumbar vertebral compression fracture

Case contributed by Leonardo Lustosa
Diagnosis certain


Polytrauma after falling from a 4-meter height. Thorax, lumbar and lower limbs were painful.

Patient Data

Age: 50 years
Gender: Male

Lumbar spine series


Radiographs of the lumbar spine revealed a compression fracture of the L2 vertebra shows slightly diminished height.

Straightening of the lumbar curvature and mild spondylotic changes are also noted.

Note the bowel distension which could be related to the sustained trauma (acute vertebrogenic pain). 

Case Discussion

Fall from height injuries need thorough assessment as many different regions of the skeleton may be affected.

The greater the height, the more like the patient is to sustain multiple fractures throughout their skeleton.

The most commonly affected areas are:

  • skull
  • cervical spine
  • scapulae
  • upper extremities
  • rib cage
  • lumbar spine
  • pelvis
  • lower extremities

In the present case, the patient had a lumbar spine fracture and a distal tibial fracture (rID: 97584).

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