Vertebral Fracture

A vertebral fracture can be a fracture of the vertebral body, vertebral arch or spinous process. In the case of a vertebral body fracture caused by crushing, the vertebral body collapses causing a burst or teardrop fracture, rupturing the anterior or posterior edge of the vertebra. The most common location is in the last dorsal or first lumbar vertebra. In the case of the vertebra being displaced in an anterior direction, the result is spondylolisthesis or spondylolysis, the former of which can be stable or unstable and the latter stable. Fracture-dislocation can also occur after suffering some type of trauma. Some vertebral fractures can occur without being caused by a high-energy mechanism, for example, a bending movement can produce a wedge fracture, as is the case in patients with osteoporosis.