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Cervical Fracture

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

A cervical fracture is a break in a vertebra (bone) in your neck. The 7 cervical vertebrae are called C1 through C7. Cervical vertebrae support your head and allow your neck to bend and twist. The vertebrae enclose and protect the spinal cord. Nerves in the spinal cord control your ability to move.

Spinal Cord Injury


Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) or have someone else call if:

Seek care immediately if:

Call your doctor or neurologist if:


Skin and brace care:

Skin breakdown can lead to deep wounds caused by pressure or pulling on your skin. Check your chin, ears, back of your head, and shoulders for redness or sores if you are wearing a brace. Check the skin daily around halo brace pins for signs of infection, such as redness or bad-smelling drainage. Change your vest lining if it gets wet. Ask your healthcare provider how to care for your halo pins and vest. Ask your provider for more information about using a halo brace, semirigid collar, or soft collar.


may be recommended. A physical therapist and an occupational therapist may exercise your arms, legs, and hands. They may also teach you new ways to do things around the house. A speech therapist may work with you to help you talk or swallow.

Follow up with your doctor or neurologist as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.