Chance fracture

  • horizontal splitting of vertebral body
  • little compression
  • associated intra abdominal and neurological injuries
  • anterior hyperflexion over an object (seatbelt) that acts as a fulcrum
  • posterior ligaments intact
  • if any ligament injury is present, epidural fat will be dirty
  • soft tissue chance injury: posterior ligament injury without bony injury
  • transverse/horizontal fracture of spinous process with or without pedicles
  • involves L1-5
  • disruption of intervertebral disc and ligaments without associated fracture