We report a case of traumatic rupture of the thoracoabdominal aorta that was successfully repaired 3 days following the accident. Associated lesions included rupture of the left renal and celiac arteries. This rare lesion should be suspected in the victims of violent hyperextension of the body with or without a fracture of the dorsolumbar spine. Aortography is diagnostic. Whenever possible preoperative angiographic visualisation of the spinal cord arterial supply should be performed.