Saturday, March 6, 2010

Displacement vs. Distraction

Distraction refers to separation along the longitudinal axis of a long bone, while displacement is the degree to which the fractured ends are out of alignment with each other.

In the spine, the distraction in flexion-distraction fractures refers to the increase in interspinous distance and possible horizontal fracture lines through the pedicles, transverse processes, and pars interarticularis in association with an anterior wedge compression fracture.


Rennie W, Mitchell N. Flexion distraction fractures of the thoracolumbar spine. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1973 Mar;55(2):386-90.

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