P. G. Korovessis, M. Stamatakis, A. Baikousis

February 1998, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 72 - 75 Case report Read Full Article 10.1007/s005860050032

First Online: 27 February 1998

We report on an extremely rare case of a 58-year-old male polytraumatized patient who sustained a bursting fracture of the T6 vertebral body associated with laceration of the posterior wall of the right main bronchus from the spiculae of the vertebral body fragments. The patient was on admission asymptomatic until he underwent an endotracheal anesthesia for stabilization of associated fractures of the extremities, when he developed acute respiratory disturbances. The opening of the bronchus was repaired via a thoracotomy, while the spine was successfully supported with a custom-made brace for 3 months. In the 3-year follow-up evaluation, the patient did well and suffered no complaints of the spine or lungs. Spine surgeons should be aware of this rare complication, which may accompany bursting fractures in the midthoracic spine. Laceration of the bronchus should be suspected when fragments of the vertebral body are dislocated far anteriorly.

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