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anterior compression fracture/unilateral facet fracture...

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  • anterior compression fracture/unilateral facet fracture...

    I can't believe I'm here again! I was on last year when my sister was in a bicycle accident (central cord syndrome). Everyone was SOOO helpful!!

    My sister's SIL was in a bicycle accident yesterday (was hit by a truck). Can someone help me figure out this "diagnosis?"

    "Anterior compression fracture of c7 AND Unilateral facet fracture of superior c7!"

    She also has a broken arm and shoulder and is in coma and on a vent.

    Any help would be wonderful! Thank you!!!!

  • #2
    As far as my understanding goes, c7 is low down on the cervical part of the spine,
    anterior compression fractures approx 80% of the time have no neurological deficit,
    anterior means the portion of the vertebrae near the front of the neck.
    the key point here is to ask what percentage of the anterior vertebrae height is left?
    The more the better anyhtign over 70% is definitely good news. Do not get the vertebrae percentages loss/remaining confused with the kyphosis angle two different things here.
    infact most radiographers will not typically diagnose a full compression fracture unless the compression fracture has a greater than 20% loss of height, as any lower than this could be attributed to degenerative changes.
    Unilateral facet fracture , well the facets are the joints a bit like the knuckles in your fingers, they are located towards the back of the neck, superior if i remember is the upper part of the facet i.e. where c7 would meet c6, typically this may create some slipage between c7 and the upper or lower vertebrae, so i would definitely be asking about if the vertebraes are aligned correctly.. You mention no involvement of cord and it seems liek you already very knowledgeable about SCI. Thought I would just give my take on what i interpret the diagnosis as.
    I wish you good luck and hope you get some good news, also I would like to add that cervical spine operations (where there is minimal SCI) have a very high rate of success, as there is minimal weight loading.


    • #3
      She will get off the vent. Needs to learn how to cough stronger and may need assisted cough to prevent pneumonia. You will have to wait and see the damage as fracture and swelling occurs but anterior is more sensory and posterior more motor.Looks promising but nervous sysdtem very complicated. It may be a long road with therapy,therapy, therapy!
      Glad she has a supportibve family! Hand function should return and be able to do more for herself.
      The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.