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5 things to know about a broken neck

Serious car accidents can lead to serious injuries, including a broken neck. Sometimes a broken neck is thought of as a fatal injury, but that isn't always the case. Christopher Reeve survived a broken neck and rallied to help others with the same fate overcome the obstacles that follow this horrific injury. Here are five points you should know about a broken neck.

Car accidents are one of the most common causes

One of the most common causes of a broken neck is a car accident. Typically, the accident would involve higher speeds because significant force is required to break the neck. In some cases, the angle of the impact matters, which is why it is also possible for a person to break one's neck when diving into a swimming pool that is too shallow or falling from a considerable height.

Broken necks can have various effects

Seven vertebrae make up the cervical spine, which is the area of the neck. When these bones break, there is a chance that the spinal cord can be damaged. The severity of the break and damage to the spinal cord determine what effects a person will face after the injury. These can include paraplegia, tetraplegia, breathing difficulties and difficulties with other bodily systems that are below the injury level.

Treatment can be grueling

Treatment for a broken neck starts at the scene of the accident. The neck must be stabilized in an attempt to minimize damage to the spinal cord. Because the cervical spine holds the head up, there is a chance that a person with this type of injury will have a floppy head. Allowing the head to move freely could cause significant damage. Treating a broken neck can include surgery, traction and physical therapy. In some cases, treatment focuses on helping the victim to live as normal a life as possible despite the permanent damage that occurred.

Spinal shock is possible and frightening

Depending on the location and severity of the injury, there is a chance that the nerve signals to the heart and other vital organs will be affected. This can cause a person to go into spinal shock, which occurs when the victim's blood pressure drops dramatically after the accident. Spinal shock can be temporary, which is the case if it is caused by swelling and inflammation in the area.

Compensation might help victims

When a broken neck was the result of a car accident that wasn't the victim's fault, he or she might choose to seek compensation . In these cases, compensation is more than just an attempt to get money. It is an attempt to obtain the funding necessary for treatments that are crucial for striving to maintain the highest quality of life after such a tragic accident.

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