What is a Chance fracture?
There is horizontal splitting of the posterior elements extending anteriorly to involve the vertebral body, intervertebral disc space, or both. It is often associated with tearing of the posterior ligamentous complex. It is also called a seat belt fracture following acute hyperflexion, as it is associated with seatbelt injuries, and most commonly occurs in the upper lumbar spine. Presence of this fracture should alert the clinician to the potential existence of significant intraabdominal injury.