Few injuries are as frightening and potentially serious to Maryland residents as a broken neck. The neck bones protect your spinal cord and all the nerves within it, and damaging the spinal cord can lead to paralysis or death.
It is possible to fracture a neck bone without damaging the spinal cord. This is a potential outcome of car accidents as the sudden impact can put massive stress on the head and neck area.
How to treat a broken neck
Broken neck injuries caused by automobile accidents vary in severity, and treatment options depend on the exact nature of the damage.
At the least severe end of the spectrum, you may only need to wear a cervical brace for a period of time. A cervical brace stabilizes the head and neck area, allowing the fracture to heal itself.
If the damage is more serious, you may require either traction or a halo vest. Either of these will necessitate significant hospital time. Traction refers to a device that holds your head and neck in place with more precision and restriction than a cervical brace does. A halo vest is a ring and hard vest attached to a patient’s chest and neck area, anchored into the skull with screws.
Likely recovery time for a broken neck
If a neck break is relatively minor, you may be able to recover at home without a lengthy hospital stay. However, in many cases, you’ll be looking at a hospital stay of days or even weeks. In the most severe cases, it could even stretch to months.
Depending on the damage, you may have to complete physical rehab to regain the full range of movement. The recovery process could be painful, requiring medication to manage the pain as you heal.