Cervical Vertebrae Dislocation– Neck injuries are one of the most traumatic, painful, and disabling injuries which an individual can have at any point in time. A dislocation of the cervical vertebrae can significantly impact an individual's life and make the individual completely dependent on others for everyday chores. In this article, we will discuss about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of Dislocated Cervical Vertebrae.
What Is Cervical Vertebrae Dislocation?
Cervical Vertebrae Dislocation can be defined as a medical condition in which there is displacement of the small bones in the neck. This condition usually arises due to a traumatic injury to the head or neck. The small bones of the cervical vertebra cover and protect the spinal cord and when one of these bones get displaced from their normal position the spinal cord gets injured impairing the ability of the brain to transmit messages to the rest of the body normally.
What Are The Causes Of Cervical Vertebrae Dislocation?
Cervical Vertebrae Dislocation usually arises due to a trauma to the neck or head like in an automobile crash, fall from a height, or sporting injuries. Mechanism involved causing Cervical Vertebrae Dislocation are abrupt rotation of the neck or head and extreme flexion or extension of the neck. This injury is often at times accompanied by a vertebral fracture. Cervical Vertebrae Dislocation can be stable or unstable depending on the damage it incurs to the soft tissues surrounding the joint. At its worst, Dislocated Cervical Vertebrae can cause a spinal cord injury which is potentially more serious.
What Are The Symptoms Of Cervical Vertebrae Dislocation?
Some Of The Symptoms Of A Cervical Vertebrae Dislocation Are:
- Sudden excruciating pain in the neck immediately after the injury
- This pain may radiate down the shoulder or arm
- Tenderness in the neck on palpation
- Tingling or numbness in the arms
- Neck muscle spasm
- Weakness of the upper extremities.
How Is Cervical Vertebrae Dislocation Diagnosed?
Immediately after the injury, the patient is taken to the emergency room where the physician conducts a detailed physical examination to look at the severity of the damage. A CT or an MRI scan may be performed. Once the neck stabilizes to an extent, a thorough neurological examination is performed to check the neurological status of the patient.
What Are Treatments For Cervical Vertebrae Dislocation?
First and foremost is that one should never move the patient who has suffered a neck injury as it can further injure the spinal cord. Treatment for Cervical Vertebrae Dislocation begins with immobilization of the neck by using a rigid cervical collar Once a diagnosis of Dislocated Cervical Vertebrae is established then the bones are reduced and put back in their normal position by closed manipulation. In case if closed manipulation is unsuccessful, then a surgical procedure may be required to treat Dislocated Cervical Vertebrae. In order to keep the vertebrae stable, they may be fixed with pins and wires.