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Age: 32

Sex: Male

Indication: Trauma

Limbus Vertebra

Mimicking a Fracture



Findings Relating to the Mimic

  • Well-corticated triangular osseous fragment along the superior and anterior aspect of the L4 vertebral body, with surrounding osseous sclerosis. Findings are consistent with a benign limbus vertebra.  No surrounding paravertebral stranding.  No evidence of acute fracture.


Discussion

  • The result of herniation of the nucleus pulposus through the vertebral body endplate.
  • Most common appearence is a well-corticated bony fragment involving the anterosuperior vertebral body.  Anteroinferior or posterior vertebral body involvement is much less common.
  • Most common in the mid-lumbar spine, but can also be seen in the mid-cervical spine.
  • Commonly misdiagnosed as an acute fracture.  Look for secondary signs of acute trauma (such as paravertebral stranding) to suggest acute fracture.


Images

Well-corticated bony fragment involving the anterosuperior vertebral body, compatible with a limbus vertebra.

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