An elderly woman was found dead in the aftermath of a fire. External inspection before autopsy showed no abnormal posture or hypermobility of the spine. Postmortem computed tomography and autopsy revealed a severe disruption of the 11th thoracic vertebra with extensive lordosis of the cervical spine and hyperkyphosis of the thoracic spine. The antemortem posture was able to be virtually rebuilt, clearly depicting the initial vertebral malposition. This led to a better understanding by lay people and helped in determination of the cause of death.
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