A condition that exists when one or more of the vertebrae bones located in the neck are broken.
The neck bones can be subject to breaks due to any severe trauma to the neck. Many common causes include landing on the head and/or neck area from a fall, blows to the neck from a collision, diving into shallow water and sudden twists to the neck.
Cervical fractures can range from mild injuries with pain and swelling of the affected area, to very serious trauma such as paralysis to the arms and legs and even death.
When incurring injury to the neck and/or head area, it is always wise to keep the injured area stable and immobile. This helps to prevent further damage from happening before proper medical attention can be acquired. For a less serious cervical fracture, a neck brace or collar may be supplied to keep the neck stable while it heals. For a more serious cervical fracture, surgery may be needed to realign the bones and hold them in place with the use of a metal rod or plate. Physical therapy may also be used to help strengthen the neck muscles.