Imaging of the Cervical Spine > Fractures > Clay Shoveler's

Clay Shoveler's Fracture

Description: fracture of a spinous process C6-T1

Mechanism: powerful hyperflexion, usually combined with contraction of paraspinous muscles pulling on spinous processes (e.g. shoveling).

Radiographic features: (best seen on lateral view)

1. Spinous process fracture on lateral view.
2. Ghost sign on AP view (i.e. double spinous process of C6 or C7 resulting from displaced fractured spinous process).

Stability: stable