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Causes, symptoms and treatment of fractures of the cervical spine

Fracture of the cervical spine – a condition in which violated the integrity of one or more vertebrae located in the cervical region. According to official statistics, the proportion of such fractures is in the order of 2-3% of all cases and 5-15% of cases of fractures of the spine.

fracture of the cervical vertebra

Presents the pathology may be a consequence of some sort of trauma. It can be diagnosed in people of different age groups. If to carry out complex treatment, no complications will arise.

Causes of violation of the integrity of bones

It is Advisable to identify the causes that generate this problem:

  • sudden trauma to the vertebrae;
  • jumping into water from a great height;
  • the consequences of an accident;
  • consumer injury
  • cases of falling of heavy objects on the head or neck.

Fracture of the diver

A Jefferson Fracture may occur in case of abrupt and pronounced axial impact on the spine. For example, a fall on the head or neck of a heavy object.

The hangman's Fracture is observed in the case of sudden extension of the head, which is combined with a variety of axial loads. Presents trauma has its historic past, it was reflected in the title.

Fracture of the diver, as the name implies, occurs due to abrupt flexion of the head and neck during dives at shallow depths. In this case, it may be a separate fracture of the cervical vertebrae, but a complete rupture of the prevailing number of ligaments and nerves in the spinal column.
Digger fracture caused by sudden flexion of the head and neck forward. The bending combined with the fall of any gravity on the neck. Such injuries could be found in those who worked the land.

Symptoms of fracture

compression fracture Symptoms can vary from minor to the most serious. the Degree of expressed fracture may depend on the location of the lesion, which is involved in the ongoing process of vertebrate structures. Among other factors the time and correct first aid.

Examination of the cervical spine

The Main symptoms of a compression fracture of the following:

  1. Disorders of motor activity of the hands and feet. The main manifestations can range from minor tremors and result in full paralysis.
  2. decreased sensitivity of the skin. It is possible to diagnose a slight numbness of certain parts of the body to a complete loss of all types of sensitivity.
  3. disorders in the urinary system. In this case there is a decrease in the amount of urine produced or its absence.
  4. Strong pain in the affected area.
  5. Dizziness, lack of energy and activity.
  6. Uncontrolled strained neck muscles.
  7. Disorders of the heart muscle.
  8. Impossibility of motion of the cervical area.

Methods of treatment

Treatment should be timely and prompt. It is necessary to provide first aid to the patient and to transport it and minimize the main risks.

After this we need to perform local anesthesia and, if necessary, to ensure full breath. Treatment of the fractures themselves can be divided into conservative and operative.

Transportation of an individual with a fracture of the cervical spine

To conservative include the following methods:

  1. Medical treatment that involves taking painkillers. Most often they are used in the form of local injection.
  2. Manual therapy. Is the reduction of the cervical vertebrae in cases where no complicated dislocation. The patient should lie on a hard surface, and then a chiropractor to fix the back of his head and chin, making it necessary for the hyperextension. After the implementation of all procedures, the patient must wear a special corset.
  3. Skeletal hood. It is used in case diagnosis is not complicated cervical fractures when the fragments are displaced slightly separate the vertebrae and do not have traumatic effects on neighboring tissue. Over ear area made of special sections, and the doctor drills a small hole through which is fixed an arc, in the shape of a horseshoe. To its end is suspended a counterweight, whose weight will vary depending on the extent and severity of the fracture After carrying out all the manipulations applied a special plaster collar.
  4. physical Therapy. It can be performed for subsequent coalescence of separate bone fragments. The compression required by the patient during the rehabilitation period. In most cases, doctors prescribe electrophoresis with calcium salts, which are necessary for bone health.
  5. Amplipulse intended for final rehabilitation, which restores muscle structure, nerve endings, and comesthe normalization of the status of the compression fracture.

Major complications

Separate the signs of fracture may indicate that conservative methods of treatment have been ineffective. Surgery can have its consequences. Upon detection of debris or manifest complications is assigned to the removal of the breakaway fragments, closure of the vertebral vessels.

An Operation can have serious consequences, including:

  1. Long period of rehabilitation.
  2. malfunctioning of the heart and respiratory system.
  3. Rupture of the spinal cord.
  4. Complete loss of sensation and paralysis.

To prevent injury, we must abide by generally accepted rules of conduct.


  1. Emergency medical assistance. Course materials.. – Lithuania: center for the study of crises, Kaunas University of medicine, 2012. – 265 S. – in the section "Immobilization of the spine" – C. 86-87.
  2. Prof. Arutyunov A. I., candidate of medical science N. A. Vasin and V. L. Anzimirov. Handbook of clinical surgery / Prof. V. I. Struchkov. – Moscow: Medicine, 1967. – S. 234. – 520 p. – 100 000.