Management of flexion distraction injuries to the thoracolumbar spine

Alejandro J. Lopez, Justin K. Scheer, Zachary A. Smith, Nader S. Dahdaleh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


We present an updated overview of the literature regarding the management of flexion distraction injuries (FDI). FDI are unstable fractures of the thoracolumbar spine, which require surgical management by long segment open fusion or minimally invasive posterior fixation with pedicle screws. While associated with concomitant intra-abdominal injuries that may delay operative stabilization, FDI frequently involve reversible spinal cord injuries and rapid correction is indicated. Modern biomechanical studies have identified valuable prognostic indicators that may be elucidated from determining the mechanism of injury, including the degree of flexion and presence of compression at the time of injury. An improved understanding of FDI will contribute to more appropriate diagnoses and treatment of these fractures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1853-1856
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2015


  • Chance fracture
  • Flexion distraction
  • Seatbelt fracture
  • Spine fracture
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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