Your neck is part of a long flexible column, known as the spinal column or backbone, which extends through most of your body. The cervical spine (neck region) consists of seven bones (C1-C7 vertebrae), which are separated from one another by intervertebral discs. These discs allow the spine to move freely and act as shock absorbers during activity. The spinal cord, a very vulnerable structure which connects the brain to the body, is located in the middle of the cervical spine, protected by bony structures.

Sports can contribute to neck injuries of varying degrees of severity, including neck fractures and cervical spinal cord injuries (SCIs). A fractured (broken) neck is a very serious matter, but in many cases, the patient can make a full recovery and regain all neurological function. A neck fracture can sometimes lead to a complete SCI, which will result in some degree of paralysis or even death.

Sports-related cervical injuries can be categorized in the following terms:

  1. Acute cervical sprains/strains including whiplash injury
  2. Cervical fractures and dislocations
  3. Nerve root or brachial plexus injuries
  4. Intervertebral disc injuries
  5. Cervical stenosis

Sports-Related Neck Injury Overview

  • Fractured or Broken Neck

  • Signs and Symptoms of Broken/Fractured Neck

  • Cervical SCI

  • Complete SCI

  • Diagnosis

  • Signs and Symptoms of SCI

  • Incomplete SCI

  • Treatment

  • Incidence

  • Cervical Spine Anatomy

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