The lumbar spine forms the lowermost part of the mobile spinal column. Due to anatomical properties, the lumbar spine is highly flexible in the sagittal directions, thus, rendering it susceptible to both flexion and extension forces with the thoracolumbar junction being the most vulnerable part of it. To date, the modern thoracolumbar spine fracture classification is given by the AOSpine classification system based on the well-known Magerl classification of vertebral fracture morphology but now includes both neurological criteria and clinical modifiers, such as ankylosing spondylitis. Whereas plain radiography remains a mainstay in the diagnostic evaluation of low-energy trauma patients, computed tomography (CT) exhibits its unsurpassed power in polytrauma and plays a decisive role in all equivocal cases where the osseous situation is unclear. However, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is increasingly gaining importance for assessing both discoligamentous integrity and intraspinal condition. Both CT and MRI have direct input in classifying fractures according to the AOSpine classification. Regarding fracture morphology, three main types (A-C) based on the stability are distinguished. C‑type spinal injuries are all considered unstable, irrespective of type and severity of vertebral malalignment. Injuries to the anterior and posterior ligamentous complex are also considered to interfere with stability (B-type injuries). Special fracture patterns of the injured ankylosed and osteoporotic spine as well as of the pediatric lumbar spine are discussed. A survey is also given about several differential diagnoses (malignant fractures, anomalies, normal variants).