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Vertical compression injuries of the spine

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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True axial compression is a relatively uncommon force. It may be applied only to a straight portion of the spine and so cannot affect the thoracic spine which is always kyphotic.

Burst fractures are the principal compression injuries. They are dangerous if a large fragment is driven backwards into the spinal canal. The compressive force necessary may be minimal in osteoporotic or pathological bone.

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