Difference between revisions of "Unstable spine fractures"

(Examples of Unstable Fractures)
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**Posterior elements
**Posterior elements
===Examples of Unstable Fractures===
===Examples of Unstable Cervical Spine Fractures===
*[[Jefferson's fracture]]
*[[Jefferson's fracture]]
*Bilateral [[Cervical facet dislocation]]
*Bilateral [[Cervical facet dislocation]]

Latest revision as of 13:41, 23 August 2017



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

Examples of Unstable Cervical Spine Fractures

Clinical Features

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


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


  • C-collar
  • Consult ortho or spine as needed


See Also