What is a flexion teardrop fracture? What is its prognostic significance?
A flexion teardrop fracture is a severe hyperflexion injury of the cervical spine that results in anterior compression fracture of the vertebral body with disruption of the posterior ligaments. Because of severe kyphotic angulation of the cervical spinal cord at this level, there is usually an associated anterior cervical cord syndrome. The teardrop component is seen as a fracture fragment of the anterior-inferior corner of the involved vertebral body ( Figure 46-3 ). Flexion teardrop fractures are the most severe and unstable spinal fractures. In 1956, Schneider described this fracture as a “teardrop” fracture-dislocation because it reminded him of the tear from a patient after he conveyed the seriousness of the injury.