Keyword Analysis & Research: thoracic chance fracture


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What is a Chance fracture of the upper thoracic spine?

As in the lumbar spine, the Chance fracture of the upper thoracic spine is a severe injury that has a characteristic fracture pattern. This flexion–distraction injury should indicate the need for meticulous evaluation of the supporting spinal ligamentous structures and should prompt a diagnostic search for other associated injuries.

Where do Chance fractures occur in the spine?

The injuries associated with Chance fractures will vary with anatomic location of the spine injury. This case shows that a Chance fracture may occur in the upper thoracic spine in addition to its more commonly described location in the region of the thoracolumbar junction.

What is a bony Chance fracture?

Chance Fractures are traumatic fractures of the thoracic and lumbar spine that occur by a flexion-distraction injury mechanism and are associated with high rates of mechanical instability and gastrointestinal injuries. Diagnosis of bony Chance fractures is made with radiographs or a CT scan.

Where does a thoracic spine fracture occur?

Chance fractures most commonly occur in an area of the spine called the thoracolumbar junction (where the thoracic spine joins the lumbar spine). They typically involve the 12th thoracic vertebra and first or second lumbar vertebra.


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