Neck Injury : General Considerations

Neck, or cervical spine injuries, account for a significant number of people with serious nervous system damage, especially from motor vehicle accidents. Head injuries are responsible for another significant portion of these cases. It has been estimated that there are 4,000 to 5,000 new quadriplegics (paralysis from the neck down) in the United States every year. There are approximately 75,000 to 100,000 quadriplegics currently living in America. Total costs, direct and indirect, in the management of these victims, is calculated between 1 and 2 billion dollars per year. Cervical injuries may involve strain, sprain, fracture, spinal cord injury, or some combination of these impairments. Knowing the cause of injury is crucial in determining the relative risk of spinal cord trauma. "Whiplash" injuries, and those injuries sustained from direct force having been applied to the long axis of the spinal column (e.g. diving accident), are most frequently associated with serious damage to the cord. Slow development of neck pain, without history of major trauma, that increases with motion, minor twisting, straining, or exercising, often indicates a strain of the neck muscles. In these cases, there is VERY LOW risk of spinal cord injury.

A slower development of neck pain, more remotely related to an injury, that "radiates" down one arm, or has associated numbness, tingling, and weakness in an upper extremity, can indicate cervical disc disease. This is much more prevalent in the "over 35 age group," and can be precipitated by seemingly minor neck injuries. It is important to realize that, here, the nerve injury is at the exiting nerve root and not on the spinal cord itself; therefore, the symptoms are usually seen in only one arm. Cervical fracture should be considered a possibility in all patients with neck pain, after significant neck trauma (e.g. motor vehicle accidents, falls, diving accidents). This can be safely ruled out with an spine x-ray, prior to any manipulation or movement of the neck. CAUTION: any suspected cervical fracture should be immobilized by trained professionals (dial 911). Avoiding ANY movement of the victim is ABSOLUTELY necessary.* Refer to the appropriate sections under neck injury to investigate the various types of cervical problems. Information is available in each section on the diagnosis, evaluation, management, and treatment of this important group of injuries.

12 Hip Dislocation
12 Hip Fracture
12 Insect Stings and Spider Bites
12 Human and Animal Bites
12 Shoulder Injury Fracture
12 Toxic Inhalations and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
12 Facial Injury Jaw Fracture and Dislocation
12 Kidney Injury
12 Knee Injury General Considerations
12 Knee Injury Contusion
12 Knee Injury Fracture
12 Knee Injury Sprain
12 Stab Wounds
12 Leg Injury Fractures and Contusions
12 Leg Injury Shin Splints
12 Lightning Injury
12 Oral and Tongue Injuries
12 Nasal Fracture or Contusion
12 Neck Injury General Considerations
12 Neck Injury Fracture
12 Neck Injury Spinal Cord Injury
12 Pelvic Bone Fracture
12 Puncture Wounds
12 Chest Injury Rib Fracture
12 Back Injury Sacrococcygeal Injury
12 Scorpion Bites
12 Abrasion Injuries
12 Shoulder Injury Clavicle Fracture
12 Shoulder Injury Strains and Sprains
12 Snakebite
12 Neck Injury Spinal Cord Injury
12 Abdominal Injury Ruptured Spleen
12 Foot Injury Toe Fracture and Sprain
12 Vaginal or Vulvar Injury
12 Drowning and Near Drowning


Abdominal Injury
Abdominal Injury: Contusion
Animal Bites
Ankle Fracture
Ankle Injury
Ankle Injury: Contusion
Ankle Sprain
Back Injury
Back Injury : Sacrococcygeal Injury
Back Strain
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Chemical Burns
Chest Injuries
Chest Injury: Aortic Rupture
Chest Injury: Hemothorax
Chest Injury: Myocardial Contusion
Chest Injury : Pneumothorax
Chest Injury: Pulmonary Contusion
Chronic Back Pain
Clavicle Fracture
Compression Fractures
Decompression Sickness
Disc Disease
Gunshot Wounds
Hand Injury: Fingertip Amputations
Head Injury
Liver Injury
Marine Stings
Muscle Strains
Rib Fracture
Ruptured Spleen
Shoulder Injury: A-C Separation
Spider Bites
Spinal Cord Injury
Sternum Fracture
Testicular Injury
Wrist Injury
hi Scuba Related Injuries
i Hand Injury Finger Amputaion
de Lecerations
de Cold Injury and Hypothermia
dd Dental Injury
xs Facial Injury
sdf Neck Injury
e Shoulder Injury Dislocation
e Ear Injury
ed Elbow Injury
de Elbow Injury Fracture
dfe Elbow Injury Nursemaids
ee Electrical Injury
de Eye Injury
ed Facial Injury General Considerations
fr Facial Injury Contusion
ed Hand Injury Finger Sprains
ded Fingernail and Toenail Injuries
dd Hand Injury Fractures
23 Head Injury Skull Fracture and Concussion
44 Chest Injury Myocardial Contusion
fde Heat Illness
ed Hest Injury Hemothorax
y Back Injury Disc Disease
;l High Altitude Illness

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