Thoraco-Lumbar Fracture (Compression Fracture): Case Study 01

This 19 year old woman was involved in a motor vehicle accident. She sustained L2 and L3 burst fractures. Note the wedging of both vertebral bodies, as well as some scoliosis due to asymmetric collapse

(Images A & B).

Thoraco fracture A
Thoraco fracture B

The CT scans (Images C & D) reveal the amount of bone in red pushing into the spinal canal in blue. 

Thoraco fracture C
Thoraco fracture D

A lumbar instrumentation was performed from L1 to L4 (Images E & F). This resulted in complete correction of the deformity of the spine.

Thoraco-Lumbar Fracture E
Thoraco-Lumbar Fracture E
Thoraco-Lumbar Fracture F
Thoraco-Lumbar Fracture F

Instrumentation is usually accompanied by fusion to maintain the spine in the corrected position. In this young patient, however, instrumentation was done without fusion, and the instrumentation was removed 6 months later. This allowed this young woman to maintain the normal mobility of her lumbar spine.