Thoracic spine trauma (mild superior endplates fractures)

Case contributed by Bruno Di Muzio
Diagnosis almost certain


Fall from height week ago. Persistent dorsal pain.

Patient Data

Age: 50 years
Gender: Male

MRI Thoracic spine


There are slight depressions on the superior endplates of T2, T3 and T4 vertebral bodies, where a low T1 signal is represented with a bright STIR strip indicating bone edema. Two small disc protrusions are also observed, central at T5/6 and right sub-articular at T9/10. The spinal cord and paraspinous tissues are unremarkable.

Yellow arrows spotting the endplates fractures and edema. 

Case Discussion

This case illustrates a mild thoracic spine trauma characterized by fractures of the superior endplates of higher thoracic vertebral bodies, involving basically the anterior column of Denis

They represent burst fractures and axial load and flexion may be the mechanism of injury. 

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