A neck fracture is a serious injury that can result in paralysis among various other health concerns. For this reason, immediate medical attention is a must.
If there is any possibility of a neck fracture, it's better to be safe than sorry. You should never assume you can treat the injury on your own, as this can make matters worse.
For example, if you suffer a neck injury at work, have a co-worker call 911 for help. Responding personnel can stabilize your injury by:
- Transporting you to the hospital
- Administering IV fluids
- Inserting a breathing tube, if needed
Once your injury is assessed, you can trust your medical team to provide the appropriate treatment. This is based largely on the following:
- The severity of the neck fracture
- Which of the bones are fractured
- The part of the bones that are fractured
- Whether there is any nerve or spinal cord damage
Treatment options include but are not limited to:
- Surgery, such as to insert plates or screws to reconnect bones
- Traction, often with the help of a halo vest or rigid brace
- Neck collar, which is often used in the event of a minor neck fracture
Recovery time depends on the severity of your injury, with an emphasis on whether they're expected to be permanent.
If you suffer a neck fracture on the job, it's imperative that your employer understands exactly what happened. This makes it easier to protect your legal rights, while also keeping others out of harm's way.
Depending on what you learn about your injury and prognosis, you may be able to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits.