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Medicina Legal de Costa Rica

On-line version ISSN 2215-5287Print version ISSN 1409-0015


VILLALOBOS VARGAS, Katherine  and  MADRIGAL RAMIREZ, Édgar Alonso. Clay shoveler’s fracture as a result of a work injury in a manual laborer: case report. Med. leg. Costa Rica [online]. 2020, vol.37, n.2, pp.14-21. ISSN 2215-5287.

Clay shoveler’s fracture is an infrequent lesion of the spinous process of the cervical or upper thoracic vertebrae, mainly between C6 and T6, produced acutely or chronically because of rotational forces exerted at the cervical level during shoveling, but some cases have been reported as a result of the practice of sports. We present the case of a 43-year old manual laborer who consulted because of cervical pain and range of motion limitation after a sudden move performed during shoveling, diagnosed with a clay shoveler’s fracture in C7 and T1, treated conservatively. The patient was discharged after finishing treatment, since the insurance company dismissed causality. The medico legal assessment of the case, based on medical documentation, radiological findings and an Orthopedics consult, helped stablish causality since it was determined that the fracture was a result of the accident reported.

Keywords : Clay-shoveler’s fracture; spinous process fracture; spine fracture; cervico-thoracic spine; causality; medico legal assessment..

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