Fracture of the neck: treatment and consequences of fracture of the cervical spine


  • 1Fractures of the cervical vertebra: consequences and treatment
    • 1.1Basic information
    • 1.2Structure of the cervical spine
    • 1.3Causes of injuries to cervical vertebrae
    • 1.4Symptoms and signs of damage
    • 1.5How is it diagnosed?
    • 1.6First aid
    • 1.7Fracture of cervical vertebra: treatment
    • 1.8Consequences of a neck fracture
    • 1.9Preventing injuries
  • 2Treatment and consequences of a fracture of the cervical vertebra
    • 2.1Accident
    • 2.2Sharp movement, turn
    • 2.3Falling from height
    • 2.4Jump into the water
    • 2.5Risk factors
    • 2.6Symptoms of trauma
    • 2.7Diagnosis of cervical injury
    • 2.8Treatment of cervical vertebral fracture
    • 2.9Immobilization
    • 2.10Using a bandage, collar
    • 2.11Operative intervention
    • 2.12Exercise and massage
    • 2.13How many heals the fracture?
    • 2.14Life with paralysis
    • 2.15Prevention of a neck fracture
  • 3Fracture of the cervical spine - violation of the integrity of the cervical vertebrae
    • 3.1Fracture of the first cervical vertebra
    • 3.2Treatment of fractures of the cervical spine
  • 4Treatment of cervical vertebra fracture and restoration of body functions
    • 4.1Structure of the cervical spine
    • 4.2What is a compression fracture of the cervical vertebra
    • 4.3Causes of fractures
    • 4.4Symptoms of a neck fracture
    • 4.5First aid for fractures
    • 4.6Consequences of cervical vertebral fracture
    • 4.7Recovery of body functions after fracture
  • 5Causes and consequences of a fracture of the cervical spine
    • 5.1Causes
    • 5.2Symptoms
    • 5.3Diagnostics
    • 5.4Treatment

Fractures of the cervical vertebra: consequences and treatment

How are cervical vertebral fractures? What consequences can cause such trauma? These and other questions will be answered in this article.

Basic information

Fractures of cervical vertebrae are very dangerous, as they can cause disability or death of the victim.

The human neck is a complex natural mechanism that performs many functions. The most important role in this is played by muscles, cartilage, ligaments and bones.

There are seven vertebrae in the cervical spine.

As is known, they are separated by the so-called intervertebral discs and fastened by a whole system of ligaments.

What are vertebrae for? Experts argue that they are designed to protect the bone marrow. As for the discs, it is a cushioning component, thanks to which movements of the trunk and head are made.

In connection with all of the above, we can safely say that the fractures of the cervical vertebrae - this is a fairly serious injury. Very often, it does not respond to treatment and recovery.

Structure of the cervical spine

What can cause a fracture of the cervical vertebra? The consequences of this injury will be presented below.

According to experts, the part of the skeleton under consideration is divided into three columns:

  1. The front column consists of 2/3 of the vertebrae, one ligament of the fibrous ring and intervertebral discs.
  2. The middle column represents the posterior third of the vertebrae, one ligament of the fibrous ring and the intervertebral discs.
  3. The posterior column is the processes, arches, spinous processes and plates.

If the resulting injury occurred in one column, the two remaining can prevent injury to the spinal cord. If two structures are violated, the spine is divided in two. At the same time, there is a real risk of brain rupture.

In anatomy, vertebrae are usually designated by the letter C, and also by ordinal numbers (1-7). Let's consider their features in more detail:

  • C1. It is called the Atlantean. It consists of 2 arms, which are connected by lateral masses. It is commonly believed that it is the atlant that holds the head of a person. In reality, it acts as a link between the skull and the spine.
  • C2. Its name sounds like an epistrophe. In the womb of the mother, this vertebra is connected to the Atlantean by a formation resembling a tooth. Sometimes it is called awned, because around it, as around the axis, the atlas rotates.
  • C3-C6 have no names. This is a small-sized short vertebra with processes. It is in this part of the spinal column that most often various injuries occur.
  • C7 is a protruding vertebra. It is equipped with a long process that is well palpable in the lower part of the neck.

Causes of injuries to cervical vertebrae

Why there are fractures of the cervical vertebrae? Most often, such injuries are formed due to the strongest mechanical effects. The reason for this can serve as various accidents or the careless behavior of a person.

For example, a compression fracture of the cervical vertebrae is formed when the head falls down from a high altitude. Also, such a trauma can happen if a heavy object falls on the person's head.

Often, these fractures affect children who have fallen from balconies, tall trees, attics, or athletes.

Fractures of the second vertebra occur due to car accidents.

This is due to the fact that with a sharp impact in the lower region of the face, a tooth-like process is traumatized.

In this case, its strong bias in the body of the spinal cord often leads to the death of the victim. Incidentally, an accident is a fairly common cause of a vertebral fracture.

Damage to the 3-5th vertebrae can occur due to sports injuries, the consequences of car accidents and severe strokes on the neck.

Damage to the 5th-6th cervical vertebrae is very often formed during diving, when a person did not calculate the depth of the jump and hit his head against the bottom or pitfalls.

Why there is a 7 cervical vertebra fracture? Such a trauma is possible with strong falls and bumps (for example, in case of accidents, falls in football or hockey, accidents at home, criminal situations, etc.).

Symptoms and signs of damage

Fracture of the cervical vertebra or the other is difficult to notice. This is due to the fact that in most cases the signs of such damage are clearly pronounced.

A common symptom of such injuries is a significant, as well as gradually increasing pain syndrome in the place of fracture. It should be noted that for more damage, more specific characteristics can also be characteristic:

  • At the turn of the atlas, not only the entire cervical region hurts, but also the neck.
  • When a second vertebra is injured, a person can not rotate his head, and in more difficult cases, he has paralysis.
  • If the third vertebra is damaged, it is impossible or very difficult to move the neck and head.
  • Fracture of the 4 cervical vertebra, as well as the 5th and 6th, makes itself felt by swelling and sharp pain in the place of injury. Also, with such damage, you can not move your head, shoulders and neck. In this case, neurologic abnormalities may appear.
  • As for the fracture of the 7th cervical vertebra, this is the only trauma that can be seen with the naked eye, especially if it was offset.

How is it diagnosed?

It is impossible to diagnose the fracture of 5 cervical vertebra or any other independently. Identify such a trauma of the spinal column will be able to only an experienced specialist, relying on external signs.

It should be noted that even a qualified doctor can not always correctly diagnose, based only on symptoms. Therefore, many specialists send their patients to X-ray.

Particularly clearly in the picture is a fracture of the atlant.

It should also be noted that today the method of magnetic resonance imaging is actively used to detect such trauma.

First aid

What measures should be taken to help a person with a possible trauma to the cervical spine? An important point in this case is proper first aid.

Experienced traumatologists with a suspected fracture of the neck do not advise moving the victim before an ambulance arrives help, and also try to independently determine the type of injury received, palpating the head or neck patient.

This is primarily due to the fact that an unskilled person can provoke damage to the spinal cord, as well as worsen the displacement of the vertebrae.

Fracture of cervical vertebra: treatment

After the arrival of an ambulance, the victim is required to fix the cervical spine by means of a special collar, and then take him to the hospital and perform radiography.

After identifying the nature of the fracture and the vertebra, which was damaged, the doctor should prescribe a treatment.

Therapy of this condition presupposes a patient's immobility, which enables the bones to fully integrate.

Thus, for several months, the victim's neck is held in one position, using the collar of Shantz. Also sometimes the patient is in the loops of Glisson for a long time.

With compression fractures, as well as in the separation of bone fragments, a surgical operation is performed. If the injuries were very strong, then specialists use a modern method, which involves replacing the injured intervertebral disc or vertebra with a telescopic prosthesis.

Consequences of a neck fracture

What consequences can cause a fracture of the cervical vertebra? Such injuries are dangerous primarily because a person can suffer from a spinal cord.

Often spiky fragments formed due to the destruction of bones, pierce directly into the body of the brain, thereby causing immediate paralysis or even the death of the patient.

When paralyzes on the spine of a person are beneficially affected by therapeutic massages and physical education.

If the trauma was not too serious, then such measures quite well help the victim to recover.

However, it should be noted that often such fractures are very strong and serious, and therefore incurable.

Preventing injuries

How to avoid fracture of cervical vertebrae? Prevention of such injuries implies avoidance of dangerous cases. Experts do not recommend people to dive or swim in unknown places.

Also, during repair work or playing sports, all safety rules must be observed. By the way, these rules should necessarily teach children from an early age.

If a person's work is associated with height or dangerous stunts, then he needs to develop the stability of the cervical spine to various injuries.

For example, strengthening of ligaments and muscles is facilitated by daily gymnastics or any other physical exercises.

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Also yoga and dumbbell exercises are also good in this regard.

Thus, regular training and exercises, as well as nutrition and taking multivitamin complexes will help man to strengthen his skeleton and muscular-ligament apparatus, which will not give rise to the sad consequences in the unexpected situations.

A source: http://.ru/article/260777/perelomyi-sheynyih-pozvonkov-posledstviya-i-lechenie

Treatment and consequences of a fracture of the cervical vertebra

Fracture of the cervical region is one of the most dangerous injuries of the spine.

This situation is explained by the high mobility of the department, the accessibility of the spinal cord and the presence of a large number of nerve endings in this area.

Therefore, more than half of the cases of neck fracture have neurological consequences. In especially severe cases, these injuries can lead to both paralysis of the body and to a fatal outcome.

The following are the most common causes of cervical vertebral fracture:


The most dangerous situation is the case in which one car crashes into the other behind.

With this direction of motion, the driver's body of the front car leans back, abruptly shifts or gets hit against the driver's seat. Also, in case of an accident, a dangerous blow can be made against the windshield, which also leads to serious injuries to the cervical department.

This includes trauma from falling from a moving bicycle, horse, motorcycle, etc.

Sharp movement, turn

In connection with the high mobility of the cervical spine, it is possible to get a significant injury even with an awkward turn of the head. Usually, such injuries are accompanied by damage to the spinal cord. In particular, athletes are exposed to such damage.

Falling from height

Damage caused by falling from a height of two to three meters can lead to fracture of the vertebrae and spinal cord disruption.

Jump into the water

Separately, it should be noted the unsuccessful jumps in the water. Often, divers, without scouting the depth and bottom of the reservoir, can get injured by the cervical spine.

Risk factors

According to medical statistics, fracture of the cervical segment occurs in individuals belonging to the young and middle age group.

For people of older age, compression fractures of this area are characteristic.

So, factors that increase the risk of obtaining such damage can be:

  • advanced age (over 60-65 years);
  • loss of muscle mass;
  • Certain sports that involve active interaction between players;
  • unsafe way of driving a vehicle;
  • violent actions;
  • injuries of other parts of the body (head, chest).

Symptoms of trauma

In those cases when the injuries did not affect the spinal cord, the patient has pains in the neck and back, which increase with the turn of the head or other movement of the body.

There may also be some swelling or swelling in the area of ​​damage. Sometimes the contours of the dorsal sulcus can be traced. In rare cases, pain is given to the abdomen.

If there are violations in the motor functions, loss of sensitivity, then we can talk about damage to the spinal cord.

Diagnosis of cervical injury

The first way to diagnose vertebral fracture is the usual x-ray of the cervical region.

Individually, in cases of suspicion of fracture instability, computer tomography is performed. Magnetoresonance tomography is used to diagnose damage to the spinal cord, nerve roots and other neurological injuries.

Treatment of cervical vertebral fracture

Treatment of fracture of cervical vertebrae occurs individually in each specific case.

The choice of treatment methods is influenced by such factors as the severity of the injury, the localization of the fracture, the presence of instability of the vertebrae, dislocation, and the presence of neurological trauma.


Immobilization is one of the main methods for treating neck fractures.

The motion of the cervical region must be ensured to prevent additional injuries and proper healing.

Using a bandage, collar

For minor injuries, compression fractures use a special bandage. Such a collar must be worn until the bone is fully fused.

In addition, a doctor prescribes a course of anti-pediatric and analgesic drugs.

Operative intervention

In complex fractures, when there is a bias or significant compression, resort to surgical intervention.

The operation is performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon's goal is to remove the splinters of bones, to remove the dislocations, to restore the spine.

Sometimes there is a need to remove a damaged disc that disrupts the functioning of the nerves. In some cases, metal plates or other fastener systems are used.

The modern approach includes the methods of vebroplasty. This technique involves the introduction of a special plastic substance into the fracture region.

Exercise and massage

When the healing process moves to the final stage, the doctor usually prescribes restorative exercises.

This need is caused by prolonged immobilization of the neck and some muscle atrophy.

To strengthen the muscular corset prescribed special massage. Therapeutic massage helps to remove the edema and give the muscles tone.

Specially selected exercises of exercise therapy can strengthen the muscles of the neck and relieve tension from the spinal column, which contributes to the faster and more correct healing of the fracture.

From the exercises, you can note smooth head turns from side to side, circular movements.

Do not forget that all described measures should be carried out only with the consent of the doctor. It is also important not to overexert the neck, doing exercises.

How many heals the fracture?

The time of healing of cervical injuries is very individual.

Carrying the cervical bandage will have at least 8-12 weeks, but the process of full recovery and rehabilitation can take a much longer time. Sometimes it takes months or even years to recover.

Life with paralysis

Injuries to the cervical spine can have quite serious consequences.

One of the most critical complications of this fracture can be called partial or complete paralysis of the body.

To hope for less paralysis is necessary only in cases of full-fledged care of the patient at the earliest stages of treatment.

To minimize the consequences, anti-bedsore techniques, respiratory techniques are used.

Nevertheless, paralysis, paresis of the extremities or the whole body is observed in a large number of cases of neck fracture.

Such changes can not but affect the social life of the patient.

The complete or partial loss of motor functions leads to a forced change in the sphere of activity, habits, etc.

In such cases, the victims need the support of relatives and families.

Prevention of a neck fracture

To prevent injuries to the cervical department, the following rules must be adhered to:

  • Always follow safety precautions. This applies to both movement on vehicles, and banal household circumstances, such as active games, competitions, etc.
  • Observe the safety of water. Do not dive in a shallow basin or a water body whose bottom has not been studied in advance.
  • Carry out a set of exercises, aimed at strengthening the muscles of the neck.
  • Enrich the dietproducts containing calcium and vitamin D.

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Fracture of the cervical spine - violation of the integrity of the cervical vertebrae

violation of the integrity of one or more cervical vertebrae as a result of traumatic effects. It occurs as a result of a blow, a fall on the head, a sharp bend or extension of the neck.

Is manifested by pain in the neck, restriction of movements and spastic muscle tension. Neurological symptoms of varying severity are often detected. The diagnosis is made on the basis of radiography data, if necessary, additionally appoint CT and MRI.

Treatment is more often conservative, with damage to the spinal cord requires surgery.

Fractures of the cervical vertebrae account for about 30% of the total number of vertebral fractures. At the same time in 40-60% of cases, damage to the spinal cord of one degree or another is observed.

About 30% of patients with these fractures die in situ due to shock, as well as severe breathing and cardiac disorders caused by damage to the nervous structures.

The main part of patients with fractures of the cervical spine are active people of young and middle age.

The cause of the injury is usually falling on the head from a height, diving into the water in insufficiently deep places, sharp bending (less often - extension) neck when sudden braking of vehicles or blow your head against the roof of the car when driving on a bad road. Most often, compression fractures of the IV, V and VI vertebrae are detected, but the most severe consequences occur with fractures of the I and II vertebrae. Traumatology is used to treat fractures in the cervical spine.

Fracture of the first cervical vertebra

I cervical vertebra (atlant) has the appearance of a ring and is a kind of "base" on which the head holds.

With its concave surfaces it joins with convex condyles of the occipital bone, forming a joint with thin cartilaginous surfaces, capsule and ligaments.

Between the occipital bone and the 1st cervical vertebra there is no thick cartilaginous lining (intervertebral disc), so when the head hits the traumatic force is transmitted to the atlas without depreciation.

The crotch of the occipital bone is pressed into the ring of the atlas, and depending on the severity and axis of application of the traumatic force, several types of fractures can occur.

Fracture of the anterior arc - isolated damage to the front half ring, may be accompanied by a more or less pronounced displacement of the fragments. Fracture of the posterior arch is an isolated injury of the posterior semicircle, usually stable, without significant displacement and compression of the nerves.

Fractures of lateral masses - violation of the integrity of the central sections of the ring, accompanied by a decrease in the height of the vertebra.

The most severe damage to the atlant is the "bursting" fracture or Jefferson fracture, in which the integrity of the Atlanta ring is broken at once in four points.

There are also variants of a "bursting" fracture, in which explosive damage occurs either from the anterior or posterior arc of the atlas or parallel fractures of the posterior and anterior arches.

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The trauma of the atlas can be isolated or combined with damage to the 2nd cervical vertebra and other vertebral segments.

The patient is troubled by a feeling of instability of the neck, neck pain, crown and occiput, loss of sensation in the parietal and occipital region is possible. The patient holds his head with his hands. If the nerve structures are damaged or compressed, neurological symptoms are revealed.

Radiography of the 1st cervical vertebra in a special projection (through the mouth) allows to confirm the violation of the integrity of the atlas and to estimate the degree of displacement of the arcs. If necessary, additionally designate CT.

Patients with suspected damage to the dorsal or medulla oblongata are examined by a neurosurgeon or neurologist.

II cervical vertebra (axis) also has the form of a ring. In the anterior sections of this ring there is a massive bony growth, called a tooth. The tooth connects with the posterior surface of the atlant, forming the Crucible joint.

In addition, the atlas and axis are articulated by means of wide and flat symmetrically located articular surfaces. Because of the peculiarities of the structure of the upper parts of the spine, trauma usually suffers from a tooth-shaped process.

Fractures of a tooth of three types can be revealed. The first type is detachable damage to the apex of the tooth, a rarely occurring stable fracture. The second type - damage to the narrow part of the tooth, unstable fracture, is observed in more than 50% of cases.

The third type is damage to the base of the tooth, in 20% of cases it is accompanied by neurological disorders.

Given the degree of displacement of the atlas and the severity of the symptoms, three degrees of fracture of the tooth-like process are distinguished.

At the first degree there is no displacement, the patient makes complaints about unpleasant sensations in the neck and minor pain when moving the head.

At the second degree, the atlant and the tooth fragment are shifted anteriorly, and the posterior part of the vertebra is compressed by the spinal cord.

Possible loss of consciousness during the injury or some time after it, reveals neurological symptoms - from minor disorders of sensitivity to paresis and paralysis. At the third degree because of a significant displacement usually there are severe damages of the nervous structures incompatible with life.

It should be borne in mind that false well-being in fractures of the first degree can provoke an underestimation of the severity of the damage (both by the doctor and the patient himself). The patient moves freely, turns his head, shakes his head, etc.

With such movements, there is sometimes a sharp shift in the atlas and a sudden compression of the spinal cord, accompanied by acute compression myelopathy and a sharp deterioration in the patient's condition.

In view of this circumstance, all axial fractures should be considered as potentially damaging injuries.

To confirm the diagnosis, radiography is performed in two projections: lateral and through the mouth.

With uncertain results, it is possible to perform functional shots (with the utmost caution and in the presence of a physician), however, a more secure and informative method of investigation is axial CT with frontal and sagittal reconstruction. With neurological disorders, a neurologist or neurosurgeon is consulted.

Compression and fractured fractures of the cervical spine in most cases occur with forced neck flexion (flexural fractures).

Less frequent injuries due to sharp extension of the neck (extensor fractures). Patients complain of pain in the cervical spine. Movement is limited.

Defined by the spastic contraction and tension of the neck muscles. Palpation of the spinous process of the broken vertebra is painful.

In some cases (with the rupture of ligaments between the spinous processes), the curvature of the line of spinous processes in the form of a bayonet or lightning is revealed. This sign indicates the instability of the fracture.

Compression fractures are usually not accompanied by damage to the spinal cord, and there may be a markedly expressed neurological symptomatology caused by edema of the affected area.

When the spinal cord is damaged (often occurs with fractured fractures and fractures) neurological violations are more pronounced, in severe cases tetraplegia, violation of the act of defecation and urination.

Especially severe injuries are fractures of the cervical vertebrae, which also usually occur due to sharp bending of the head.

With fractures, it is often found that multiple vertebrae, fractures of the arches, spinous and articular processes are simultaneously damaged, full paralysis and loss of sensitivity are more common.

A lethal outcome is possible immediately after injury, after several hours or several days. In the latter case, the cause of death are respiratory disorders, pulmonary edema and other complications.

Crucial in the diagnosis is the x-ray of the cervical spine.

Especially informative is a side picture, on which compression can be detected (decrease in the height of the front parts of the vertebra) and an increase in the spacing between the spinous processes of the broken and overlying vertebrae.

In doubtful cases, CT scan of the spine is made in the cervical region, and MRI of the spine is used to assess the condition of the soft tissue structures. In the presence of neurological disorders, a consultation of a neurosurgeon or neurologist is indicated.

Treatment of fractures of the cervical spine

In most cases, with fractures of the cervical vertebrae, conservative treatment is indicated. Patients are hospitalized in the trauma department.

In uncomplicated fractures without displacement, immobilization is carried out using a Shantz collar, gypsum corset or hard collar for up to 4 months.

If there is a bias and the danger of damage to the spinal cord, stretching with Glisson loops in combination with correcting cushions or rollers is used.

With flexion fractures, the pillow is not placed under the head, a roller is placed under the shoulders.

In extensor injuries, two pillows are used, placed under the patient's head, after removal of the compression, the pillows are removed.

After 15-30 days, the traction is removed and a hard collar or gypsum half-corset is applied for a period of 3-4 months. The patients are prescribed painkillers, physiotherapy procedures and medical gymnastics.

Surgical interventions are performed with unstable fractures and fractures of the cervical vertebrae (especially in combination with compression or damage to the spinal cord), comminuted compression fractures, as well as inefficiency of the conservative treatment. To fix the vertebrae, laminar contractors, transarticular fixatives or plates are used. In the postoperative period, antibiotics, analgesics, exercise therapy, massage and physiotherapy are prescribed, followed by rehabilitation.

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Treatment of cervical vertebra fracture and restoration of body functions

Fracture of cervical vertebra- A serious injury that can lead to negative consequences if the first aid is not provided to the victim and urgent medical treatment is not started. There are fractures of the cervical vertebrae for a number of reasons. Leading positions in this list are occupied by road accidents.

Structure of the cervical spine

The cervical spine consists of a network of vertebrae, between which intervertebral disks are located. They are connected together by a system of ligaments.

The first cervical vertebra is mobile, so we can turn our head from side to side and tilt it to one side.

The second vertebra is called axial because the first rotates around, as in the axis.

Cervical vertebrae from the third to the sixth are least protected by muscle fibers, so fractures often occur in this zone. The seventh vertebra connects the cervical spine with the thoracic spine.

If you consider the cervical section longitudinally, you can see that it consists of three columns - the front, middle and rear. When there is a fracture of the cervical vertebra, it is important that it affects only one column. Then the probability of damage to the spinal cord is reduced.

What is a compression fracture of the cervical vertebra

Compression fracture of cervical vertebrae- violation of the integrity of bone tissue due to compression of the cervical vertebrae. This type of fracture is often found in patients of traumatology departments.

The complexity of this fracture is that not only bone tissue is injured, but also cartilaginous, connective, which is difficult to restore.

If the fracture breaks the corners of the vertebrae, then the probability of trauma to the bone marrow is high.

Compression fracture of the cervical vertebra causes a lot of negative consequences, but in many cases there is a high probability of restoring the tissue structure and complete recovery.

It is important!

Sometimes the symptoms of compression fracture are not immediately apparent after the injury.

But at the time when a person experiences severe pain, other manifestations of the problem, the consequences of the fracture are already irreversible, so it is so important to immediately turn to a traumatologist who will perform an examination, assign additional types diagnostics.

Compression fracture of cervical vertebrae can be cured, but first you need to determine its localization, the degree of tissue damage. You can do this in an outpatient or inpatient setting. Do not self-medicate. The consequences of injuries are removed only by official medicine.

Causes of fractures

Fractures of the cervical vertebrae occur because of a strong mechanical effect. Despite the fact that the bone tissue is very strong, sometimes it is destroyed due to bruises, falls, strong strokes. The risk group includes:

  • drivers and passengers of motor vehicles;
  • divers;
  • boxers, representatives of martial arts;
  • high-altitude;
  • climbers.

Fracture of the cervical vertebra occurs as a person falls from a large height down, and with strong blows to the head, neck.

It can be accompanied by other injuries. The speediness of first aid and transportation of the victim to the hospital is of great importance.

The prospects of his further treatment depend on this.

If the fibrous ring, the intervertebral disc, is damaged together with the bone tissue, then a hernia is likely to develop in this place.

Often, the healing process of the fracture of the cervical vertebrae is prolonged for many months. During this period, the patient was placed in bed.

He wears a special collar, fixing his neck in one position.

It is important!

It is necessary to determine the cause of the cervical vertebral fracture in order to understand what treatment methods to use in a particular case, to determine other negative consequences of trauma. One of the complications of the fracture of the cervical vertebra is the presence of fragments in soft tissues, because of which there is a strong inflammation. Fragments are removed surgically.

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Symptoms of a neck fracture

There are several common manifestations of all varieties of fractures of the cervical vertebrae. The main symptom is severe pain in the lesion. It is gradually increasing. If you do not react quickly to such symptoms, there is a possibility of pain pain.

Restriction of mobility, temporary paralysis of the whole body is another important symptom, indicative of damage to internal tissues.

Because of the compression fracture of the cervical vertebrae, the rootlets of the nerve endings are jammed, corresponding impulses from the brain to the extremities do not arrive, the person does not feel the legs and hands.

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Swelling of the tissues, bruises on the skin is another symptom. Severe swelling of the neck leads to difficulties with breathing, so this patient needs to be rushed to the hospital.

It is important!

Only the fracture of the seventh cervical vertebra is visible to the naked eye, because it has an impressive size that protrudes through the skin. In other cases, visual damage to the integrity of bone tissue may not be present. An exception is open neck injuries.

Only physicians can assess the complexity of the situation, so if you witness an accident, an accident, any another situation that entailed serious injury to a person, you need to quickly call an ambulance and monitor the condition patient. The main principle of first aid in such cases is not to harm your actions.

First aid for fractures

The task of people who are next to the victim before the arrival of the emergency car, completely immobilize it.

You can not lift a person, turn his head, put a pillow or a blanket under your head.

You can not personally palpate your neck, try to fix the vertebrae, if they are visually distinguished.

The person should be in a horizontal position. It can not be planted and raised to a standing position, this will entail even more serious negative consequences of the fracture of the cervical vertebrae.

The patient may be difficult to breathe because of the rapidly developing edema. This is the only case when it is allowed to turn a person on the stomach, placing a hard roller under the head, so that the victim's breathing becomes equal.

If the patient can swallow, while others have analgesics at hand - analgin, ibuprofen, paracetamol, you need to give him the maximum permissible dose of painkiller. In this way, it is really possible to avoid pain shock and loss of consciousness because of it.

It is important!

When the ambulance arrives, it is worthwhile to help the doctors shift the patient to a stretcher. Do this several people at once, holding all moving parts of the body to exclude the displacement of the fracture of the cervical vertebra.

Consequences of cervical vertebral fracture

The danger of a fracture of the cervical vertebrae is that in 80% of cases this trauma entails neurological consequences. This is due to the fact that in the neck area there is a huge accumulation of nerve endings connecting the brain with the whole organism.

Because of a fracture of the cervical vertebra, the roots of the nerve endings are entangled, destroyed. Nerve cells can not be restored, therefore such traumas often lead to irreversible consequences for the whole organism.

Even if there is a positive dynamics of treatment, a full recovery is possible only after a few months or years.

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Among the negative consequences of a fracture of the cervical vertebrae, it is necessary to distinguish the following:

  • loss of sensitivity of the upper limbs;
  • limited mobility of the head and neck;
  • problems with speech;
  • partial or complete paralysis.

Recovery of body functions after fracture

After complete healing of the fracture, it is necessary to undergo a rehabilitation course. It includes regular exercises of exercise therapy, various physiotherapy procedures.

Therapeutic physical training is the best way to restore the functions of the cervical spine. Specially designed and selected exercises will help to cope with the remaining problems. You should only listen to the recommendations of a specialist.

First you will have to study at a specialized center with an experienced instructor. When you understand the technique of doing all the exercises, you can continue to study at home.

With a positive prognosis, the restoration of all body functions will occur a few months after the fracture.

A source:

Causes and consequences of a fracture of the cervical spine

Among multiple injuries, the most severe is a fracture of the cervical spine, characterized by a violation of the integrity of one or more vertebrae (C1-C7).

Most often there is a fracture of the fourth (C4), the fifth (C5) and the sixth (C6) vertebrae, but the greatest danger is the fracture of the first (C1) and second (C2) vertebra.

This injury can lead to serious consequences.


The cervical spine is very mobile. However, sharp bending or unbending the neck, turning the head to the side can lead to injury.

The reason is a fall from height, road accidents, fights, diving, sports injuries, falling heavy objects on the head.

In the latter case, there is a compression fracture, caused by simultaneous sharp compression and flexion of the spine. Compression injury is always a contraction, and not vice versa.

There are the following types of fractures in the cervical spine:

  1. Fracture of the first vertebra (C1), called the atlant, is often referred to as a fractured fracture or Jefferson fracture. The reason is a fall on the head. In this case, the occipital bone is inserted into the ring of the atlant, because of which its arcs burst.
  2. Fracture of the second vertebra (C2), called axial because of a massive protrusion on which the first vertebra holds. The reason is a sharp bending or extension of the neck in either direction, which causes the atlas to shift relative to the process of the axial vertebra. Or, the second vertebra is displaced relative to the lower vertebra. This type of injury is called spondylolisthesis, known as a fracture of the executioner.
  3. Fractures of the lower cervical vertebrae (C3-C7), sometimes referred to as a diver's fracture, are caused by a sharp, forced bending of the neck, as when striking the head against the bottom when diving at shallow depth. There is a compression fracture, in which the vertebral body is squeezed, its subsequent flattening in the anterior part, and the acquisition of the wedge in the vertebra.
  4. Fracture of the spinous processes of the two lower vertebrae (C6, C7), called the digger fracture, occurs when the head and upper part of the cervical section are bent against the tension forces between the neoplastic ligaments.


With a fracture of the cervical vertebrae, pain is experienced with possible irradiation into the region of the forehearth, between the shoulder blades, the upper limbs and into the occipital part of the head.

In this case, the reflex tension of the neck muscles is observed. The victim may feel dizzy, tinnitus, have difficulty swallowing and breathing.

Palpation in the fracture site is painful.


In the event of injury and similar symptoms, an x-ray examination of the cervical spine in the direct and lateral projections is mandatory.

On a properly made radiograph, all seven vertebrae are visible, including the first and second, and the first vertebra of the thoracic spine.

Diagnosis helps to distinguish compression fracture from non-compression and to identify other types of damage.

A clearer picture, and, therefore, a more accurate diagnosis can be given by CT.

Inaccessible and difficult to view areas during radiography are detailed in this case.

Computed tomography allows you to assess the condition of vertebrae and perivonvertebral tissues, the shape and location of bone fragments, and establish related disorders.


Treatment of fractures of the cervical spine should be carried out under the supervision of a doctor, otherwise there can be serious consequences.

Treatment may depend on the type of injury, for example, compression fracture or not. In the event of injury, the victim must provide first aid and be taken to a medical institution.

From the properly rendered first aid will depend on his further condition.

Inpatient treatment is divided into two types:

  • drug therapy for injections for the anesthesia of trauma;
  • cervical vertebrae directed by the specialist, with minor displacements;
  • Skeletal traction, the purpose of which is to gradually adjust the vertebrae and fragments with the aid of the load and fix them in the correct position;
  • Glisson's loop, which contributes to the restoration of the physiological location of the vertebrae by their extension due to their own weight;
  • Shantz's collar, appointed at small displacements, is worn for a period of not less than 6-8 weeks;
  • Physiotherapy is carried out during the rehabilitation of the patient after the fusion of bone fragments. Effective for strengthening bones and restoring muscles, nerve endings and normalizing metabolism.
  1. Operative. Assigned in the presence of a large number of fragments, with ineffectiveness of conservative methods of treatment, with complications.

With carefully provided first aid, properly prescribed and well-conducted treatment, as well as with observance of the recommendations of a specialist during the recovery period, a complete recovery of the patient without serious consequences. The strength of spinal cord injury affects the consequences, among which the decrease or total loss of sensitivity in the limbs, the limited movement. In the presence of concomitant diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, Bechterew's disease, osteoporosis, the process of recovery is complicated, or completely impossible, which subsequently leads to a fatal outcome.

In the diet should include foods rich in calcium, minerals and vitamins. Do not neglect physical exercises, as well as special training to strengthen the muscles of the neck and back.

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