Transverse posterior element fractures associated with torsion
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Six examples of a previously undescribed class of transverse vertebral element fractures are presented. These fractures differ from Chance and Smith fractures and their variants in the following respects: (1) the etiology is torsion and not flexion; (2) there is neither distraction of posterior ring fragments nor posterior ligament tears; (3) in contrast to Chance and Smith fractures, extension of the fracture into the vertebral body is absent or minimal; (4) the transverse process of the lumbar vertebra is avulsed at its base with a vertical fracture, not split horizontally. These fractures occur in cervical, lumbar, and sacral vertebrae in normal or compromised areas of the spine.
Key wordsVertebrae Spine (cervical, lumbar, sacral) Fracture Posterior elements Torsion
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