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PEM Ortho X-ray Curriculum

Common Presentations

  • Cervical Distraction Injuries

    • May result from rapid acceleration- or deceleration-type accidents
    • FIGURE 5
      • Arrows indicate a dens fracture and C6-C7 distraction injuries
x-rays showing distraction injuries
FIGURE 5: Distraction injuries
  • Vertebral Compression Injuries

    • Suggested by isolated anterior wedging, teardrop fractures or burst vertebral bodies
    • Anterior-posterior flexion injuries
      • Anterior vertebral body compression
      • Teardrop fracture of lower anterior corner
      • Widening of interspinous distance
      • Prevertebral soft tissue swelling
      • Injury to posterior ligaments
      • Tearing of C1-C2 transverse ligament
      • Fracture of odontoid growth plate
    • Lateral flexion injuries
      • Ipsilateral compression fracture and contralateral avulsion fractures
    • Extension injuries
      • Upper anterior teardrop fracture
      • Widening of the disc space
      • Posterior element fractures
      • Anterior displacement of vertebral body
    • FIGURE 6
      • In A, note the teardrop fracture, and C4-C5 anterior compression and posterior avulsion fracture
      • In C, note the burst fracture of C5
      • In the 3rd x-ray, note the anterior C6 vertebral wedge fracture
x-rays showing compression injuries
FIGURE 6: Compression Injuries