Chance fractures are unstable due to horizontal extension of the injury, disrupting all three columns of the vertebra. Since being first described in 1948, Chance fractures have been commonly found at a single level near the thoracolumbar junction. Noncontiguous double-level Chance fractures that result from a single traumatic event are rarely reported in the literature.
The authors report a case of an 18-year-old male who presented to the emergency department after a rollover motor vehicle accident. The patient complained of severe back pain when at rest and had no neurological deficits. Computed tomography revealed two unstable Chance fractures of bony subtype located at T6 and T11. The patient underwent percutaneous stabilization from T4 to T12. The postoperative assessment revealed continued 5/5 power bilaterally in all extremities, back pain, and the ability to ambulate with a walker. At 3 months after the operation, clinical assessment revealed no significant back pain and the ability to walk independently. Imaging confirmed stable fixation of the spine with no acute osseous or hardware complications.
This report complements previous studies demonstrating support for more extensive stabilization for such unique fractures. Additionally, rapid radiological imaging is needed to identify the full injury and lead patients to appropriate treatment.