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Journal of Craniovertebral Junction and Spine
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 86-88

Complete avulsion of spinal cord and cauda equina: A case report

Department of Neurosurgery, Specialist Medical Center, Polanica-Zdroj, Poland

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Grzegorz Miekisiak
Department of Neurosurgery, Specialist Medical Center, ul. Jana Pawla II 2, 57 - 320 Polanica-Zdroj
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-8237.156070

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Pure ligamentous flexion-distraction injuries of the lumbar spine are relatively rare and even less commonly associated with neurologic compromise. They are largely related to the use of lap belt restrains during motor vehicle accidents. We report a 19-year-old female backseat passenger wearing a lap belt who was involved in a head-on collision. On admission she was paraplegic, with a T12 sensory level and no motor and sensory function of S4-S5 (American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) A). Plain X-ray and computerized axial tomography (CAT) spine showed a flexion-distraction injury at the L3-L4 level. During surgery in the interspinous space a conus medullaris was identified, which was completely severed from the spinal cord. The patient underwent a fusion procedure and made a good recovery. Twelve months after surgery she was able to walk with a knee-ankle-foot orthosis, she has no motor function below knees, no sensation below L2, and no voluntary bladder control. Although described type of injury is very rare, one should always have in mind devastating consequences of inadequate or improperly worn seatbelts.

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