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Penetrating Neck Injury

Most people will have a minor neck problem at one time or another. Neck problems and injuries may occur during sports or recreational activities, work-related tasks, or projects around the home. Trauma to the neck and back may lead to spinal cord injury and permanent disability. If trauma occurs, then you should be avoided neck and back splinted and movement. The vertebral column has several ligaments and muscles that protect the spinal cord and assist in movement. Injury to any of these structures may cause significant and debilitating pain.


  • Neck pain is often caused by a strain or spasm of the neck muscles or inflammation of the neck joints.
  • Minor neck injuries may be occur due to tripping, falling a short distance, or excessive twisting of the spine.
  • Severe neck injuries may result from whiplash in a car accident, falls from significant heights, direct blows to the back or the top of the head, sports-related injuries, a penetrating injury such as a stab wound, or external pressure applied to the neck, such as strangulation.
  • Arthritis or damage to the discs of the neck may cause a pinched nerve. Neck pain caused by a pinched nerve generally affects one side of the neck and the arm on that side.


  • Hematoma
  • Ecchymosis
  • Dyspnea
  • Stridor
  • Bruit
  • Dysphagia
  • Focal neurologic deficits
  • Subcutaneous emphysema
  • Horner's syndrome
  • Hemoptysis
  • Absent pulse


  • Treatment for a neck injury may include first aid measures, physical therapy, manipulative therapy such as chiropractic or osteopathic, medicine, and in some cases, surgery. Treatment depends on several factors such as the location, type, and severity of the injury and your age, health condition, and activities such as work, sports, or hobbies.
  • Immobilize the head, neck, and back. Place soft packing on either side of the head to prevent side-to-side motion. Clothing or towels are handy for this purpose.

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