Concomitant noncontiguous thoracolumbar and sacral fractures

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1993 Aug;18(10):1285-91. doi: 10.1097/00007632-199308000-00007.


Seventeen patients were identified with concomitant thoracolumbar and sacral fractures representing 26% of sacral fractures and 7.7% of pelvic fractures. The thirteen men and four women exhibited a bimodal age distribution. There were thirteen vertical compression thoracolumbar fractures, three transverse process fractures, and one traumatic herniated nucleus pulposus. There were seven Zone I, seven Zone II, and three Zone III sacral fractures using the Denis classification. Five of the sacral fractures were missed on initial presentation. Four of the patients had neurogenic bowel or bladder symptoms. Seven of the thoracolumbar fractures and three of the sacral fractures were treated operatively. Results were generally good or excellent unless significant neurologic injury was present at initial presentation. The authors recommend aggressive computed tomographic evaluation of the sacrum in any suspicious pelvic trauma or when the neurologic lesion does not match the more proximal bony lesion. They hypothesize that decompression of both sacral and thoracolumbar lesions may be necessary if either lesion could be responsible for neurogenic bowel or bladder symptoms.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fracture Fixation
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / injuries*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Radiography
  • Sacrum / diagnostic imaging
  • Sacrum / injuries*
  • Spinal Fractures / diagnostic imaging*
  • Spinal Fractures / surgery
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / injuries*
  • Treatment Outcome