Lumbar burst fractures (L3-L5) represent a small percentage of all spinal fractures. The treatment of fractures involving the lumbar spine has been controversial. Lamina fractures may be complete or of the greenstick type. Dural tears and nerve root entrapment may accompany these lamina fractures. The aim of this retrospective study was to determine the incidence of dural tear in patients who had lumbar burst fractures with greenstick lamina fractures and the importance of these lamina fractures when choosing the optimum treatment. Twenty-six patients with 28 lumbar burst fractures were treated from 1995 through 2002. The average follow-up was 60 months (range 32-110 months). The male to female ratio was 21:5 and the mean age was 37 years (17-64). Dural tear was detected in seven (25%) out of 28 burst fractures. The functional outcome of the entire study group was assessed using the Smiley-Webster Scale. Good to excellent results were obtained in 24 (92%) of 26 patients. Lumbar burst fractures with greenstick lamina fractures occur mostly in the L2-L4 area. In the surgical treatment, any reduction manoeuvre will close the fracture and crush the entrapped neural elements. Therefore, it may be better to explore the greenstick lamina fracture whether there is any neural entrapment or not, before any reduction manoeuvre is attempted.