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What does it really mean to have a broken neck?

On Behalf of | Jan 7, 2023 | Serious Injuries

You probably hear people joke about broken necks all the time. Growing up, perhaps your parents warned you repeatedly not to break yours when playing rough, but it is not a real risk, right?

Unfortunately, the small bones inside the neck or cervical region are just as vulnerable to trauma as other areas. If fractures occur in the neck region, they can lead to long-term hardships and even threaten your life.

How can you break your neck?

Housed inside the human cervical spine are seven bones called vertebrae that help protect the spinal column and cord. When one or more of these bones become fractured, you officially have a broken neck.

Occasionally, fractured vertebrae heal rapidly and cause few long-lasting medical problems. However, if the delicate spinal cord resting within the column suffers serious injuries, paralysis or death could occur.

Accidents and mishaps resulting in cervical fractures include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Falls from elevated heights
  • Dives into shallow ponds or pools

With enough force, even what seemed like a minor slip-and-fall could fracture the vertebrae within the cervical spine.

What treatment do cervical fractures require?

Sometimes, the injured victim can recover by wearing a neck brace and undergoing physical therapy. Other times, more drastic treatment methods like weeks of immobilization or surgery are necessary for recovery.

Diagnostic methods and medical treatments for cervical fractures can be catastrophically expensive–a top reason to make the most of your personal injury claim. Improving your knowledge of California injury and accident compensation laws is a critical early step for victims with serious injuries.