Difference between revisions of "Unstable spine fractures"

m (Rossdonaldson1 moved page Unstable Spine Fractures to Unstable spine fractures)
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==Example of Unstable Fractures==
==Example of Unstable Fractures==
*Jefferson's fracture
*[[Jefferson's fracture]]
*Bilateral facet dislocation
*[[Bilateral facet dislocation]]
*Odontoid type II or III
*[[Odontoid fracture]], type II or III
*Any fracture and dislocation (atlanto-axial or atlanto-occiptial)
*Any atlanto-axial or atlanto-occiptial fracture or dislocation
*Hangman's fracture
*[[Hangman's fracture]]
*Flexion teardrop  
*[[Flexion teardrop]]

Revision as of 01:36, 2 January 2015



Denis' three column concept helps to determine whether a vertebral fracture is stable or unstable

  • I: Anterior column
    • Anterior longitudinal ligament
    • Anterior 1/2 of the vertebral body and disk
  • II: Middle column
    • Posterior 1/2 of the vertebral body and disk
    • Posterior longitudinal ligament
  • III: Posterior column
    • Facet joints
    • Ligament flavum
    • Posterior elements

Clinical Features

  • I:Always stable
  • II:Possibly unstable
  • III:Always unstable

Example of Unstable Fractures


  • CT with reconstructions
  • Consider plain x-ray in conjunction as this is what is used during orthospine f/u
  • MRI to assess cord and ligament damage


  • C-collar
  • Consult ortho or spine as needed

See Also