Traumatic pneumomyelography. A marker of spinal column injury in the face of innocuous spine fractures: two case reports

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1998 Jun 1;23(11):1283-6. doi: 10.1097/00007632-199806010-00022.


Study design: A report of two cases of spinal column injury.

Object: To document the presence of air within the spinal canal following spinal fractures.

Summary of background data: Only two previous cases of air in the spinal canal have been reported in the English literature. This report emphasizes that even with innocuous-appearing fractures of the thoracic spine, a similar phenomenon can occur.

Methods: The author reports on the medical records and radiographic investigations related to these two cases.

Results: Air within the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine was identified in what appeared to be minor spinal fractures of the thoracic spine.

Conclusions: In cases of relatively undisplaced fractures of the thoracic spine associated with air in the spinal canal, one should be alert to the possibility of more unstable injuries that may have undergone significant displacement at the time of the fracture.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myelography*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / etiology
  • Spinal Fractures / complications*
  • Spinal Fractures / diagnostic imaging
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / injuries*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed