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J Korean Radiol Soc. 1997 Jul;37(1):145-151. Korean. Original Article.
Kang YS , Kwon ST , Song CJ , Lee YH , Kim HS , Lee HD , Cho JS , Ahn JS , Lee JK .
Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Chungnam National University College of Medicine.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Chungnam National University College of Medicine.

PURPOSE: To assess the location and associated findings of fractures of the posterior lumbar vertebral ring apophysis as seen on MRI. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively evaluated MR findings in 77 patients (86 lesions) with lumbar apophyseal ring fractures. Their age ranged from ten to 67 (mean 33-1) years. To confirm the presence of verterbral ring fractures, CT was performed in 29 patients (31 lesions) within two weeks of MR imaging. Open laminectomy was performed in ten patients, percutaneous automated nucleotomy in three, and LASER operation in four. RESULTS: The most common location of fractures was the superior margin of L5 (36 lesions 41.9%), next was superior margin of S1 (21 lesions, 24.4%). On CT, a bony fragment was seen in 28 patients (30 lesions); the positive predictive value of MR was 99.7 %. Multiple lesions were seen in nine patients. Associated disc herniation and bulging were noted in 64 (74.4%) and 15 lesions (17.4%), respectively, and a high signal intensity rim aound the bony fragment on T1 weighted image was noted in 33 (38.4%). Other associated findings were spondylolysis in eight patients, retrolisthesis in five, and spondylolisthesis in three. Operative outcomes were variable. The results of open laminectomy were better than those of percutaneous automated laminectomy or LASER operation. CONCLUSION: In patients with lumbar apophyseal ring fractures, their exact location and associated findings could be evalvated by MRI, which was therefore useful in the planning of appropriate surgery.

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