Chance fractures in the pediatric population: A review

Tien V. Le, Ali A. Baaj, Armen Deukmedjian, Juan S. Uribe, Fernando L. Vale

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Object. 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. Methods. 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. Results. 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. Conclusions. 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-197
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Chance fracture
  • Flexion distraction injury
  • Lap belt injury
  • Pediatric Chance fracture
  • Seat belt injury
  • Spine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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