The Unusual Chance Fracture: Case Report & Literature Review

O Karargyris, LG Morassi, C Zafeiris, DS Evangelopoulos*, SG Pneumaticos
3rd Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Athens, KAT Hospital, Athens, Greece

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© Karargyris et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the 3rd Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Athens, KAT Hospital, 2 Nikis street, Kifissia, Athens, Greece; Tel/Fax: +302106280890; E-mail:


The Chance fracture represents a spinal lesion caused by a flexion-distraction injury pattern. We describe a rare case of a male driver admitted at the Emergencies of our Institution, level A Trauma center. The was involved in an automobile accident without wearing a seatbelt. Radiological findings of plain radiography and computed tomography (CT) demonstrated a horizontal fracture extending across the vertebral body to the posterior elements with loss of vertebral height at the anterior aspect of T12. Based on these findings, the diagnosis of a T12 Chance fracture was established. The patient was treated conservatively with a thoracolumbar orthosis, without any subsequent disabilities. Although Chance fractures are rare lesions, they should always be considered in spinal injuries, even in cases of motor-vehicle accidents where no seatbelt is used.

Keywords: Chance fracture, seatbelt injury, thoracic spine.