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Cervical vertebrae fracture

There are several different kinds of vertebral fractures relating to the neck area. Clinically, injuries to the neck are grouped into one of two categories – fractures without neurological involvement (stable fractures) and fractures with neurological involvement (unstable fractures).

Fractures without neurological involvement are usually associated with localised pain, restriction of movement and a postural alteration to the spinal column. Depending on the severity of the fracture, kyphosis and scoliosis can follow as a result of the distortion.

X-rays are usually sufficient for establishing a reliable diagnosis in these cases, although sometimes CT or MRI scans are required to remove any doubt. Treatment for these stable fractures is conservative, with most patients wearing a semi-rigid brace for 2-3 months before starting an appropriate rehabilitation programme.

Unstable fractures are always treated surgically due to the associated risks of nerve damage. Rehabilitation following these kinds of surgical interventions are handled on a case-by-case basis. 

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