The radiograph demonstrates a comminuted fracture of the superior end plate of L1. There is a loss of height of about 20% to 25%.
Of note, there is a lucency that appears to extend horizontally through the pedicles and into the spinous process. If this observation is accurate, then the patient would have a three-column injury. Such fractures are known as Chance fractures, and they are typically unstable and require operative intervention for stabilization.
Chance fractures are better visualized on CT. Subsequent testing confirmed a Chance fracture at the L1 level. The patient was admitted, and neurosurgical evaluation was requested.