Fracture and dislocation of lumbar vertebrae with entrapment of small bowel: A case report and literature review

Xiaowei Jing, Zhiyuan Gong, Ning Zhang, Gang Chen, Fangcai Li, Qixin Chen, Zhengkuan Xu, Rui Zhang
Journal of International Medical Research 2019 January 8, : 300060518816205
Traumatic incarceration of the small bowel accompanied by vertebral fractures and dislocation is rare and usually misdiagnosed until laparotomy. This report presents a rare case of jejunum entrapment between lumbar spine fractures. A 43-year-old man was clamped between two railway tracks on the upper abdomen and lower back. Following ineffective conservative treatment, he underwent a laparotomy due to the development of guarding and rebound tenderness. Loss of vitality of the jejunal loop, which was incarcerated between the L3 and L4 vertebrae, was observed. The necrotic bowel was removed and end-to-end anastomosis was performed. When his condition was stable, anterior and posterior lumbar fixation surgery was performed. The patient had no abdominal complications and lower limb nerve function deficiency during the follow-up period. A review of the literature since 1979 on incarceration of the bowel associated with lumbar fracture and dislocation identified 12 cases: five patients showed persistent neurological symptoms, but none of the patients died as a result of their injuries. It should be borne in mind that patients with hyperextension or flexion-distraction injury of the lumbar spine could show symptoms of intestinal obstruction and bowel incarceration. Enhanced computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging will be helpful for diagnosis.

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