This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in

Fracture (burst fracture, thoracolumbar)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Burst fractures of the thoracolumbar spine may be divided into three types:

  • stable fractures with an intact posterior ligament:
    • despite their stability these fractures are treated in a plaster jacket because the posterior part of the vertebral body is close to the nerve roots and because they are painful
    • the jacket is applied with the spine in the neutral position
    • after six weeks the plaster jacket is replaced with a removable polythene jacket for a further six weeks

  • fractures which cause paraplegia:
    • treated with a padded plastic support or surgical stabilisation
    • rehabilitation is begun without delay

  • fractures with an incomplete neurological deficit:
    • fractures of this type are urgently decompressed anteriorly if the CT scan shows encroachment on the spinal canal
    • posterior fusion is then undertaken

Related pages

Create an account to add page annotations

Add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation, such as a web address or phone number. This information will always be displayed when you visit this page