A fracture (break) of the cervical spine is commonly referred to as a broken neck. Approximately 5-10% of unconscious patients who present to the ED as the result of a motor vehicle accident or fall have a major injury to the cervical spine. Injuries to this region of the spine are frequently a combination of sprain, dislocation and fracture. The most serious can injure the spinal cord, leading to paralysis or death. This type of accident may not cause a fracture but instead injure the muscles and ligaments of the neck. The resulting injury is a neck sprain, which is commonly called whiplash.
Cervical spine injuries are ranked according to several mechanisms of injury. These include flexion, flexion-rotation, extension, expansion and compression vertical rotation, lateral flexion, and vaguely understood the mechanisms that can lead to odontoid fractures and atlanto-occipital dislocation. Cervical spine fractures and other injuries to the neck less frequent because people are more educated on how the fractures occur and how to prevent them. Protect yourself and your family to always wear a seat belt, supervision of children and teenagers who are swimming and diving in lakes and ponds.
Cervical Spine Fracture Treatment and Prevention Tips
1. Always wearing a seatbelt.
2. Surgical is also recommeded
3. Take whirlpool treatments, if available.
4. Using the proper equipment and training during athletic participation.
5. Drink only water before manipulation or surgery to treat the fracture.
6. Massage gently and often to provide comfort and decrease swelling.
7. Use a “spotter” when attempting difficult moves in gymnastics.
8. Use appropriate protective equipment, such as padded collars and shoulder pads.