Mechanism of Injury: Hyperextension

  • Hyperextension damages the anterior column
  • This is associated with anterior fracture of the anterior inferior aspect of vertebral body
  • The posterior aspect of the vertebral body may be crushed with a risk of retropulsion of bony fragments or the intervertebral disc into the spinalcanal
  • 'Hangman’s fracture': hyperextension fracture through pedicles of C2 following hyperextension with distraction or compression (click on the x-ray to enlarge). Results from judicial hanging (rather than suicidal which causes asphyxiation) or from striking chin on steering wheel in a collision