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Cervical spine injuries - Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA) classification

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Type A: Compression injuries of the body (compressive forces)

  • Type A1: Impaction fractures
  • Type A2: Split fractures
  • Type A3: Burst fractures

Type B: Distraction injuries of the anterior and posterior elements (tensile forces)

  • Type B1: Posterior disruption predominantly ligamentous (flexion-distraction injury)
  • Type B2: Posterior disruption predominantly osseous (flexion-distraction injury)
  • Type B3: Anterior disruption through the disk (hyperextension-shear injury)

Type C: Multi-directional injuries with translation affecting the anterior and posterior elements (axial torque causing rotation injuries)

  • Type C1: Rotational wedge, split, and burst fractures
  • Type C2: Flexion subluxation with rotation
  • Type C3: Rotational shear injuries (Holdsworth slice rotation fracture)


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