Teardrop Fractures


Spinal Cord Anatomy

synonyms: Cervical compression-flexion fracture

Teardrop Fracture ICD-10

Teardrop Fracture ICD-9

Teardrop Fracture Etiology / Epidemiology / Natural History

  • Etiology: axial load with concomitant flexion force creates large triangular bony fragment off the anteroinferior vertebral body with tensile failure of the posterior osteoligamentous complex, kyphosis, and retrolisthesis of the remaining vertebral body into the spinal canal.

Teardrop Fracture Anatomy

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Teardrop Fracture Clinical Evaluation

  • Palpate entire spine for tenderness / step off.
  • Complete neuro exam: motor strength, pin-prick sensation, reflexes, cranial nerves, rectal examination (perineal pin-prick sensation, sphincter tone, volitional spincter control)
  • Absence of the bulbocaverosus reflex indicates spinal shock. Level of spinal injury can not be determined until bulbocaverosus reflex has returned.

Teardrop Fracture Xray / Diagnositc Tests

Teardrop Fracture Classification / Treatment

  • Stable, neurologically intact: orthosis ro halo vest with or without short period traction / reduction.
  • Unstable, neuro deficit: anterior corpectomy, structural grafting and rigid plate fication. Consider supplemental posterior fixation.

Teardrop Fracture Associated Injuries / Differential Diagnosis

  • Occipital Condyle Fracture
  • Occipitocervical Dissociation
  • Atlas fracture
  • C2 fracture
  • Odontoid fracture
  • Facet Dislocation
  • Burst Fracture
  • Compression Fracture
  • Spinal Cord Injury

Teardrop Fracture Complications

Teardrop Fracture Follow-up Care

Teardrop Fracture Review References

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