Imaging Case of the Week 589 Answer

The lumbar spine x-ray shows

anterior compression fracture of L1 & fracture of spinous process of T12 vertebra.

This is a variant of Chance fracture and is an unstable injury.

Chance fracture:

  • is a flexion distraction injury related to lap seat belt use. It can also occur following fall from a height.
  • is a horizontal fracture involving all the 3 columns of vertebra.
  • tends to occur between T12 and L4.
  • in addition to spinal cord injury, there is high incidence of gastrointestinal & retroperitoneal injuries.

Further reading