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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 8(2); 1997 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 1997;8(2): 258-263.
Comparison of Accuracy of Radiological Diagnostic Tools for Thoracolumbar Bursting Fracture
Tae sik Hwang, In Byong Kim, Seok Joon Jang, Hahn Shick Lee
ABSTRACT
As regard to the treatment modality and its prognosis following the treatment, there are some differences between the thoracolumbar compression fracture and bursting fracture. If bursting fracture is accompanied by nerve injury, especially if the fracture fragment is compressing the spinal cord, it is reported that decompression with early surgical intervention would achieve a much better prognosis. Therefore, the authors tried to suggest an overall statistics on the patient's age, mechanism of injury and injured site and to compare the sensitivity of tools used in diagnosing bursting fracture radiologically, as well as the sensitivity of posterior vertebral body angle, which is used in diagnosing subtle bursting fracture. Three hundred forty three patients admitted to emergency center of Yongdong Severance Hospital with a thoracolumbar fracture from 1992. Jan. to 1994. Dec. Of the 343 patients, minor fracture and those with insufficient X-ray films and clinical notes were excluded from the study. The study was done with 199 patients in retrospective method. All the 199 patients had plain X-ray and computed tomography taken. the results were as follows 1. The male to female ratio was 114 to 85 with average age being 47.1 years old(14-93 years old). 2. The mechanisms of injury were falling down, traffic accident, slipped down, sprain and confusional injury in the order written. 3. There were 67 cases of compression fracture and 132 cases of bursting fracture. 157 cases had I level injury in the order of Ll, T12, and L2, 33 cases had 2 level injury, and 8 cases were injured in 3 level of the spine. 4. Of the factors determining the radiological diagnosis of bursting fracture, the disruption of posterior cortical line had the highest sensitivity. 5. Of the 45 cases of 1 level injured subtle bursting fracture, those with posterior vertebral body angle of more than 100 degree radiographically had a sensitivity of 82%. Of the thoracolumbar fractured patient admitted to the emergency room, searching for disruption of posterior cortical line in plain film helped in diagnosing bursting fracture, and calculating the posterior vertebral body angle helped in determining whether further computed topography was needed in subtle bursting fracture.
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