IS case 477: Clay shoveler's fracture
Imaging Sciences URMC 2010
Publication Date: 2010-08-30
Clay shoveler's fracture is a vertical or oblique fracture of the C6 or C7 spinous process. It is a stable fracture and not associated with neurological damage. The name for this type of fracture comes from clay workers who would shovel sticky clay over their shoulders. Sometimes the clay would stick to the shovel causing the supraspinous ligaments to undergo tremendous force and avulse a spinous process. The fracture can best be seen on lateral cervical radiograph. On AP view, the well known "ghost sign" can be seen where a double spinous process can be seen due to the caudal displacement of the fractured portion of the spinous process.
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