Difference between compression and burst fractures
Compression fractures are caused by anterior flexion. There is anterior wedging of the affected vertebral body, with the middle vertebral column remaining intact. Because only the anterior vertebral column is affected, this fracture is usually stable. Burst fractures are caused by axial loading injuries. The fracture lines extend through the anterior and posterior cortices of the vertebral body (thus affecting both anterior and middle columns). The posterior displacement of fracture fragments can cause spinal cord injury, and these fractures are considered unstable.