American Journal of Medical Case Reports
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American Journal of Medical Case Reports. 2020, 8(12), 451-452
DOI: 10.12691/ajmcr-8-12-4
Open AccessArticle

The Traumatic Vacuum Phenomenon at the Anterior Portion of the Spine: A Clue to Extensive Spinal Fracture

Youichi Yanagawa1, , Ryosuke Takahashi2, Ikuto Takeuchi1 and Akira Itoi2

1Department of Acute Critical Care Medicine, Shizuoka Hospital, Juntendo University

2Department of Orthopedics, Shizuoka Hospital, Juntendo University

Pub. Date: August 27, 2020

Cite this paper:
Youichi Yanagawa, Ryosuke Takahashi, Ikuto Takeuchi and Akira Itoi. The Traumatic Vacuum Phenomenon at the Anterior Portion of the Spine: A Clue to Extensive Spinal Fracture. American Journal of Medical Case Reports. 2020; 8(12):451-452. doi: 10.12691/ajmcr-8-12-4


A sixty-seven-year-old man complained back pain after falling from a ladder. On arrival, he had no neurological deficits in either leg. Emergency truncal computed tomography (CT) demonstrated multiple rib fractures with lung contusion and air density at the anterior portion of the 12th thoracic spine with fracture of the spinous process. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated an area of high intensity at the anterior portion of the 10 and 11th thoracic spine with the posterior portion of the 11 and 12th thoracic spine, suggesting extensive unstable lower thoracic fracture. The present case suggested that air density at the anterior portion of the spine on the CT might be an important clue that suggests the existence of rare extensive thoracic spinal fracture.

vacuum phenomenon extensive spinal fracture computed tomography diagnosis

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