[Trauma of the lumbar spine and the thoracolumbar junction].
Radiologe. 2016 Aug 3;
Authors: Reith W, Harsch N, Kraus C
CLINICAL/METHODICAL ISSUE: Patients who have experienced high energy trauma have a particularly high risk of suffering from fractures of the thoracic and lumbar spine. The detection of spinal injuries and the correct classification of fractures before surgery are not only absolute requirements for the implementation of appropriate surgical treatment but they are also decisive for the choice of surgical procedure.
STANDARD RADIOLOGICAL METHODS: By the application of spiral computed tomography (CT) crucial additional information on the morphology of the fracture can be gained in order to estimate the fracture type and possibly the indications for specific surgical treatment options. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is ideally suited to provide valuable additional information regarding injuries to the discoligamentous structures of the spine.
PERFORMANCE: Magerl et al. developed a comprehensive classification especially for injuries of the thoracic and lumbar spine, which was adopted by the working group for osteosynthesis (AO). This is based on a 2?pillar model of the spinal column. The classification is based on the pathomorphological characteristics of fractures recognizable by imaging. The injury pattern is of particular importance.
ACHIEVEMENTS: In spinal trauma a distinction is made between stable and unstable fractures. The treatment of spinal injuries depends on the severity of the overall injury pattern.
PRACTICAL RECOMMENDATIONS: Besides adequate initial treatment at the scene, a trauma CT should be immediately carried out in order that no injuries are overlooked and to ensure a rapid decision on the treatment procedure.
PMID: 27488620 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]