Serious injuries to the cervical spine
- Fractures through the vertebral bones.
- Dislocations of one vertebrae over another through the levels of discs.
- (Disc bulges or prolapses that may compress nerves or spinal cord).
All of the above may cause temporary or permanent injury to the spinal cord.
Fractures or dislocations to the main spinal column may or may not injure the cord. Injuries to the spinal cord can completely divide the cord, partially divide the cord or simply press on the cord. It is impossible to tell these apart without special scans. Hence, the early management of such injuries is extremely important to ensure that further damage is not done to the cord at that stage as a cord that is simply compressed may present with the same symptoms as a complete division of the cord, yet may fully recover once the bony spine is realigned in hospital.