To present a rare case of association of abdominal aorta rupture and flexion-distraction fracture of thoracolumbar spine and to review the literature on this condition. In non-penetrating abdominal traumatic injuries with flexion-distraction fractures of the thoracolumbar spine, rupture of the abdominal aorta is an extremely rare occurrence but its outcome is potentially lethal. This association of skeletal and vascular lesions mainly affects young patients and involves the thoraco-lumbar junction and the portion of the aorta that lies in front of it. The authors analyze the pertinent literature and describe a case, operated in two sittings, of a traumatic lesion of the aorta attributable to a fracture of L1, focusing on mechanism of damage, diagnosis and surgical treatment. At 2-year follow-up examination, there were no neurological deficits. A review of the pertinent literature has shown that mortality can be reduced by a meticulous clinical and radiological work-up for a correct diagnosis followed by surgical repair of any damaged vessels. The possibility of performing a rapid diagnosis by means of total-body CT-scan plus CT-angiography allows repair of vascular damage, stabilization of the patient's hemodynamic conditions and, subsequently, surgical treatment of the vertebral fracture.
- Aortic disruption
- Shear fracture
- Vascular damage
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine