Cervical Wedge Compression Fractures



- See: Burst Frx:

- Discussion:
    - this fracture involves loss of vertebral body height anteriorly;
    - posterior wall remains intact, & upper vertebra rotates downward about two facet joints;
    - posterior ligaments become taut when anterior ht loss is approx 25%;
    - compression of > 50% with out compression of posterior wall may indicate posterior Ligamentous injury, which may convert this to
           complex fracture;
    - disruption of the posterior ligamentous complex in face of anaterior frx or dislocation is strong indication of instability & of potential 
           necessity for surgical stabilization;
    - exceptions may include the upper thoracic spine, which is inherently more stable, and with bony Chance frx;
    - compression frx of 3 sequential vertebrae leads to increase in risk of posttraumatic Kyphosis;
- Treatment:
    - frxs w/ up to 25% compression & intact posterior wall are treated w/ orthosis;
    - if dynamic lateral views reveal instability, posterior interspinous;
    - wiring w/ bone graft stabilizse disrupted posterior ligament complex



Original Text by Clifford R. Wheeless, III, MD.

Last updated by Data Trace Staff on Tuesday, December 27, 2011 3:35 pm