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April 2, 1955


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1955;157(14):1192-1194. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02950310018004

Injuries to the spine include the severe fracture dislocation of the vertebrae, with paraplegia to the simple sprain of the back. Accurate diagnosis is necessary to plan the required treatment. In many instances the nature of the accident may have been so severe that the mechanics producing the injury can not be ascertained. However, if the injury was incurred with the trunk in flexion, a compression fracture may be anticipated. Such a simple act as lifting a tightly closed window has produced compression fractures of the bodies of the vertebrae. Fractures incurred with flexion may be complicated by fractures and dislocations of the pedicles, laminas, or facets. Fractures of the appendages of the vertebrae are more frequently associated with some degree of spinal cord or nerve root injury. Hyperextension fractures are rare, but, when they occur, the appendages are usually involved. An inquiry about the activity of the patient immediately

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