Cervical Compression Fractures in Children

  • Loading or anterior flexion: Compression fractures of the vertebral bodies in children may be produced by anterior flexion, axial loading, or both.
  • Stable vs. unstable: The posterior elements of spine need a close evaluation. The fracture may be stable if only part of the body is involved and the posterior elements are intact. If true burst type fracture or if posterior elements are involved, then it is likely unstable.
  • Evaluation of integrity of spinal canal: CT and/or MRI are useful in determining canal compromise and assessing continued compression of the cord.
AAnterior wedge compression fracture at C3: Alignment is maintained, and there are no posteriorly displaced fragments. This injury could be managed with a hard collar alone.