Fracture of the thoracolumbar spine may involve the dorsal spinous process of the vertebra.
Vertebral fractures may be present with or without neurologic signs. Symptoms and prognosis of vertebral fractures depend on their location, the portion of the vertebra that sustains the trauma and the degree of compression of the spinal cord. Foals are more susceptible to vertebral fractures than adults.
Rearing and falling over backward (falls over jumps and obstacles)
Collisions and kicks (head on collisions)
Clinical signs of thoracolumbar fractures of the dorsal spinous process depend on:
Degree of bony disruption
Instability at the fracture site
Severity to the trauma to the spinal cord (rare)
Clinical signs can be:
Local pain, swelling, and stiffness
If the thoracolumbar dorsal spinous process fracture appears in combination with a thoracolumbar body fracture, mild ataxia to quadriplegia are also clinical signs.
Radiographs are an excellent tool for diagnosing fractures of the dorsal spinous processes
CT is not advised because of the need for general anesthesia