A lateral cervical spine radiograph and sagittal-reformatted CT image show an oblique fracture of the C7 vertebra with slight displacement. There is no extension to the lamina or facet joint on axial CT (not shown).
- Avulsion, hyperflexion injury of the spinous process of C6, C7 or T1
- Typically oblique in orientation
- Due to abrupt flexion of the head and neck against tensed posterior neck ligaments
- First described in Australian clay miners who attempted to throw a shovel full of clay from the mine floor but the shovel stuck in the clay, causing abrupt hyperflexion of the neck
- Mechanically and neurologically stable unless it extends into the lamina. Also should look for facet joint injury or dislocation
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