Traumatic pneumorrhachis

Case contributed by Sammy Tawk


Motor vehicle accident

Patient Data

Age: 90 years
Gender: Male

Non-enhanced chest CT scan showing pneumorrhachis at the thoracic level with associated unstable fracture of T9 vertebral body (arrows).

No pneumothorax or pneumatocele.

Case courtesy of Dr. Charbel Mourad.

Annotated image

Annotated images indicate a discoligamentous injury at T8/9 level with fractures of the T9 endplate, the left facet and costovertebral joints.

Case Discussion

The proposed mechanism of post-traumatic pneumorrhachis, is probably related to an extension injury of a degenerative rigid spine that resulted in the described vertebral fractures and released intradiscal/intravertebral gas into the spinal canal.

How to use cases

You can use Radiopaedia cases in a variety of ways to help you learn and teach.

Creating your own cases is easy.