At the time of suffering a neck fracture, you won’t know exactly what to expect in regards to treatment. But what you should know is this: Receiving immediate treatment at a local hospital is critical to your long-term health.
Your medical team will immobilize your injury, conduct a thorough exam and order any tests necessary to give them a clear idea of the extent of the damage. From there, treatment options typically include:
- Neck brace: For a minor fracture, a neck brace may be used to immobilize your neck for an extended period of time, often as long as eight weeks.
- Traction: For more severe fractures, a halo vest or rigid brace may be necessary to aid your recovery. Traction ensures that you only have minimal movement.
- Surgery: For the most severe neck fractures, surgery may be necessary to repair the damage, remove discs or bone fragments and/or relieve pressure on the spinal cord. Your medical team may also use wires, plates or screws to repair the damage.
Even with a minor neck fracture, your doctor is likely to request that you stay in the hospital for observation. In the event of a serious injury, you may be in the hospital’s intensive care unit for several weeks or longer.
If you suffered your injury on the job, don’t wait to share your diagnosis and treatment plan with your employer. Not only does this help them plan for the future, but it also positions you to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Should your workers’ compensation claim result in a denial, find out why and then file an appeal. You were injured on the job and, for that reason, you should receive compensation.