Spine Injury & Care

The Spine

The seven bones in the neck are the cervical vertebrae. They support the head and connect it to the shoulders and body. A fracture, or break, in one of the cervical vertebrae is commonly called a broken neck.

Common Injuries

Cervical fractures usually result from high-energy trauma, such as automobile crashes or falls. Athletes are also at risk. A cervical fracture can occur if:

  • A football player "spears" an opponent with his head.
  • An ice hockey player is struck from behind and rams into the boards.
  • A gymnast misses the high bar during a release move and falls.
  • A diver strikes the bottom of a shallow pool.

Seek treatment if you experence the following: 

  • Severe neck pain
  • Pain spreading from the neck to the shoulders or arms, resulting from the vertebra compressing a nerve
  • Bruising and swelling at the back of the neck
Content on this page was taken from: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org.