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  • Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics x
  • By Author: Baaj, Ali A. x
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Tien V. Le, Ali A. Baaj, Armen Deukmedjian, Juan S. Uribe and Fernando L. Vale


The pediatric Chance fracture (PCF) is an uncommon injury, but it has been increasingly reported. Knowledge is limited to few case reports and short series. To understand the various aspects of this injury, the authors reviewed the current literature.


A literature search was conducted using the PubMed and Ovid online databases and relevant key words. All articles that were in English and provided information regarding PCF as a sole or part of the objective were retrieved.


Seventy-three articles were found to fulfill the inclusion criteria. Relevant information about PCF collected from these articles included: 1) mode of trauma, 2) associated injuries, 3) radiological classification, and 4) treatment.


Chance fractures in children are potentially devastating injuries largely caused by motor vehicle collisions, and these fractures may be more common than previously thought. Concomitant intraabdominal injuries are common and should be suspected, particularly when a seat belt sign is observed. Blunt abdominal aortic injuries are rarely associated, but should be evaluated for and treated appropriately. Magnetic resonance imaging is best for defining ligamentous injury, which aids in defining the pattern of injury, facilitating appropriate treatment regimens.

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Ali A. Baaj, Juan S. Uribe and Fernando L. Vale

Chance-type fractures of the spine have been associated with seat-belt injuries in the pediatric population. Nonoperative management is appropriate in most cases of Chance fractures, but surgical intervention is occasionally warranted to deter progression of kyphosis and neurological deterioration. Internal fixation using pedicle screws has been widely used in the surgical repair of this injury. The authors report on a 6-year-old girl who suffered an L-2 Chance fracture with facet disruption, kyphosis, and significant posterior ligamentous injury. She underwent open reduction and internal fixation using Songer cable wiring augmented with bilateral lamina plating. At the 18-week follow-up, she continued to be free of any neurological deficits and her alignment was stable on plain radiographs of flexion-extension. The authors have therefore described a feasible option in the surgical management of Chance-type fractures in the pediatric spine.