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Treatment options for a broken neck

A broken neck is a serious injury that will cause quite a bit of pain and discomfort, while also hindering your ability to live your life.

If you suspect a broken neck, such as after a serious motor vehicle or workplace accident, it's imperative to receive immediate medical attention. Your doctor will run a variety of tests, such as an X-ray and CT scan, to better understand your injury.

Treatment of a broken neck depends largely on the severity and location of the break. Here are some points to consider:

  • If the break doesn't affect the spinal cord, rest accompanied by a brace is typically the preferred method of treatment. You may also require medication to control the pain.
  • If the break is severe, your doctor may suggest surgery to set the bones in place and repair any damage. After surgery, a brace can keep your neck immobilized while you heal.
  • If the break causes damage to the spinal cord, there aren't as many options. Since your spinal cord can't heal itself, your medical team will discuss a treatment plan for reducing pain and helping you make as much of a recovery as possible. With this injury, paralysis is a very real concern.

If you suffer any type of neck injury, don't wait to seek medical assistance. Trying to treat it on your own can result in more harm than good.

In the event that your injury occurred at work, such as the result of falling off a ladder or scaffolding, report the accident to your employer and then consider the steps you can take to obtain workers' compensation benefits.

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