Limbus lumbar vertebral fractures in 27 adolescents and adults

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1991 Aug;16(8):962-6. doi: 10.1097/00007632-199108000-00017.


Fractures of the lumbar vertebral limbus involve varying degrees of fragmentation of the peripheral ring apophysis, located at the posterior superior or posterior inferior margins of the mid to lower lumbar vertebrae. Four types, uniquely found in adolescents and young adults, have been described. Type I lesions consist of avulsions of the posterior cortical vertebral rim. Type II fractures are composed of central cortical and cancellous bone fractures. Type III lesions are more lateralized chip fractures. Type IV fractures span the entire length and breadth of the posterior vertebral margin between the end plates. The clinical, neuroradiologic, and surgical management of 27 patients with these four types of lumbar limbus vertebral fractures are reviewed. The data regarding location and type of fracture were critical for planning piecemeal surgical resection with a downbiting curette, tamp, and mallet technique.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laminectomy
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / injuries*
  • Male
  • Nervous System Diseases / etiology
  • Prognosis
  • Radiography
  • Spinal Fractures / complications
  • Spinal Fractures / diagnostic imaging
  • Spinal Fractures / surgery*