Cervical Fracture

The neck is made up of seven tiny bones called cervical vertebrae (C1-C7). These are protected by spongy vertebral disks present between them and supported by ligaments that hold them together and surround the underlying spinal cord. Cervical fractures are common in motor vehicle accidents, sports activities and falls. The second, sixth and seventh cervical vertebrae are frequently involved in fractures, and may also injure the spinal cord.

Fractures of the cervical spine may result in pain, localized to the neck region or spreading from the neck to the shoulders or arms, decreased neck movement due to pain, swelling, bruising, tingling or pricking sensation, numbness and weakness or paralysis. Cervical fractures in the first and second vertebrae are usually fatal. Injury to the spinal cord can lead to paralysis.

If a cervical fracture is suspected, the neck should be immediately immobilized in a collar and backboard. Your doctor will perform a thorough physical examination, and order neurological tests to assess pain and neurological deficits, and imaging tests to identify the location and pattern of the cervical fracture.

If the cervical spine is out of alignment, traction is applied to realign the spine. Steroids may be administered to control spinal cord damage and inflammation. Surgery may be suggested to repair the cervical fracture with spinal reconstruction, by placement of bone graft, followed by stabilization with plates.

  • Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital

    NHS

    Ashford and St Peter’s
    Hospital
    NHS Foundation Trust
    Guildford Road, Cherstey,
    Surrey, KY16 0PZ.
    Ph: 01932 872 000
  • The BMI Runnymede Hospital

    Private

    The BMI
    Runnymede Hospital
    Guildford Road,
    Ottershaw, CHERTSEY,
    KT16 0RQ.
    Ph: 01932 877800
  • Spire St Anthony’s Hospital

    Private

    Spire St Anthony’s
    Hospital
    801 London Road,
    NORTH CHEAM,
    SM3 9DW.
    Ph: 020 8337 6691
  • Nuffield Health Woking Hospital

    Private

    Nuffield Health
    Woking Hospital
    Shores Road,
    WOKING,
    GU21 4BY.
    Ph: 01483 331257
  • Ramsay Health Ashtead Hospital

    Private

    Ramsay Health
    Ashtead Hospital
    The Warren,
    Ashtead, Surrey.
    KT21 2SB.
    Ph: 01372 221400