broken neck

Evan snowboarding

My little brother Evan has been spending the winter teaching snowboarding in Aspen and had a serious accident today.

Apparently on the last run of the last day of the season, there was a problem with the snowboard. He flipping twice in midair before landing on his head.

He broke his neck — cervical vertebra 7.

But he can move his fingers and toes, which I guess is the important thing because it indicates no spinal cord damage?

I spoke to him at the hospital, where he was actually having dinner in his room. He seemed alright, a little drugged up, but in good spirits. He said he was fine laying down, but it hurt to stand or sit up.

The doctors did a bunch of tests tonight and are planning an MRI tomorrow (Tuesday) which will indicate whether surgery is needed. Either way, I guess he’s looking at a long time in a cervical collar. (Thankfully, he has a girl there taking care of him).

It sounds like he’ll be okay… but if anyone has any experience with this type of injury, please share it.

UPDATE 4/5/05: Surgery is set for tomorrow (Wednesday) at 1 p.m.

Evan said that after looking at his MRI, his doctor told him he was lucky he wasn’t paralyzed – but prognosis is good for a fully recovery within a few months.

UPDATE 4/7/05: The surgery went well, I’m told Evan is in some pain and somewhat cranky, but it looks like everything is going to be okay.

381 comments to broken neck

  • Pat

    for Smokey, I’m also 62 and fell down a flight of cement stairs on May 24th and broke C2 and cracked C7 and T1. I have beenin a minerva brace for the last 9 weeks and have 3 more weeks. Cant take it off at all, so no showers, yikes! Have been sleeping on a recliner most of the time. I now live alone and used to being independent so it was hardto askfriends for help. Are you still in a brace? Did you need Pt after it was removed? I am a bit scared to move my neck or to bend over when the brace is removed.

  • Luccio


    I broke my neck mountain biking. Fractured my c-3 and c-5 but didn’t require surgery. Doctor said c-3 was small enough not to require surgery but that c-5 was bigger and questionable wether it needed surgery or not. He told me to wear a miami j collar for 4 months and if it healed i would be good to start physical therapy. This happened July 7th so it’s been about two months. I was in the hospital one night and left while still in paid due to mostly bruising. After 1 week I had no more pain and haven’t had any major pain since then. At times I would feel a smell sharp pain whenever I tried doing too much like reaching far or bending over but I haven’t had any of that for about two weeks now. I do hear a short rice crispy kind of sound sometimes, alot less now compared to first couple weeks. I never had any any neurological problems since the accident buy I did feel a sudden shock around my entire body when I landed on my neck. Very thankful to be ok. I don’t see the doctor till another 4 weeks but I feel like I can’t already take this brace off, but of course I will listen to what doctor recommends. I’ve heard alot of worse cases so I do know I’m very lucky. It is very boring and frustrating but I’ve found ways to overcome that, I started reading, playing online poker(no money involved), and most of all smoking marijuana.

    At first I was hesitant about it because doctors are strict against smoking and drinking but I did some research and found otherwise. I’m sure it may affect bone growth somehow but not as bad as cigarettes do. I also found that it helps alot with the pain, but I didn’t have pain. I also read stories from others who broke their neck so I decided to email a few and ask about their experience while smoking and all of them said they smoked everyday and actually healed faster than doctor expected. I knew it wasnt same for everyone but I took the chance and haven’t regretted it. i smoke about 2 or 3 times a day. It helps pass time and also gets you interested in little things. I got into reading, and then into new hobbies, and now I’m taking online courses to learn a new language. Online courses are a very good way to spend your time at home.

    The collar is a pain in the ass but its alot better now than the first weeks. I found that I need to take a shower every other day and wash my pads at least twice a week to prevent a rash or itching, also I must shave every time I wash the pads. If you’re neck is already itchy and can’t take a shower and clean pads immediately then you can put a sock under your chin and that definitely helps, but you still need to wash your pads as soon as you can.

    Out in public is also another pain in the ass because you have everyone starting at you and asking the same questions. I’ve tried to stay away from the public as much as possible but sometimes you can’t do anything about it, I did buy a black soft collar to use in public but I would I wouldn’t recommend it, after a while my neck would start to feel very tense and I start getting back muscle aches. The neck collar would het itchy because of the heat and i would even start sweating very fast so sometimes i would just unstrap the collar and let it it dry. You can always read around and see what people find helpful but I found that staying home is the best for me. I can do a lot with my computer and keep me entertained all day, I do watch tv and movies though and I also exercise a little but with no weights. Squats and lunges are good painless exercises but use a spotter to be safe. That’s about alllll I got to say lol thanks for reading and good luck to your recovery. If you have any questions I am more than happy to help, Email me at

  • johnny cage

    im a 22 yr old male i was involved in a car accident with a driver that ran a red light on april 3, 2011. i broke my c7 bone. i was told by doctors it would be healed in 8 months; but this may just be something i have to deal with for the rest of my life, its been 2 years, i didnt have surgery and i still have severe
    pains whenever i try to go to sleep or work my muscles to much. im completely knocturnal now and have been for the past 2 years. sometimes i wonder what did i do in order for god to want to take away my good-night-sleeping privlages. i haven’t slept comfortably in 2 years i dont even know how a good night sleep feels anymore, it hurts more to lay down than it does to stand. everyday is a struggle and the fact that no one around me can relate makes it harder. everyone gets depressed when i walk into the room with my neckbrace on. as im typing this it is 4:44am meaning no sleep for me tonight, i have to be exhausted to even sleep no position is comfortable…i read a message above and started to cry because it was the first time i i felt someone could relate and thats why i decided to post.

  • johnny cage

    im praying for everyone & hopefully one day doctors will have a perfect broken neck cure

  • richard

    Im 22 years old and when i was 17 I rolled my jeep in the hills out here in idaho where i live, i destroyed my C-3 entirely it had to be replaced with a titanium artificial unit and the C-4 and C-5 vertebrae are currently held in place with a mesh of some sort. I have not slept to speak of since I was 17. I have severe sciatica as a result of the wreck and partial loss of function in my left arm from a compound fracture resulting also from the same accident. all things told i think im doing well. i am sore to some degree or another from the time i get up to the time I try to get some sleep for the night, only a couple times have i not been able to get up and I still find a way to continue my job as a CNA I have accepted by now the fact that I will never be able to do anything too physically demanding on my left side and no longer hold out hope for an active life after age 40, but im still happy and capable of taking care of myself. I hope everyone else will be able to continue on with life like i did, remember short of paralysis nothing can stop you but yourself.

  • cynthia

    hello, im cynthia and i was just in a car accident in downtown los angeles. it was a high speed chase,the cops where fallowing this crazy man in a corvette and it so happen to hit the car i was in. nothing happen to my friend,she was the driver. as for me i broke my c2 bone. I’m a dancer and a fixed gear cyclist. so after this accident i felt my life when down the drain . i thought i was never going to be able to move my legs .but lucky enough god is so big , I’m as strong as i was before the accident . i have a halo holding my neck right accident happen friday the 13th 2013. it was all over the news, because after the accident it so happen the cops shot the guy that hit us. i though i was in a video game so much going on that night. I’m 23 and super strong and positive i will recover. god is big and i know he will take care of me.

  • Chad

    I was in a downhill mountain biking accident which broke c1+c2 doctor said im extremely lucky to be walking. I Was placed in a halo for 3 months and a collar for 1. it has been a year and everytime I turn my neck left I hear loud cracking and sometimes pain shoots. I also broke my sternum in the accident. I want to get back to going to the gym and be less miserable. but im not sure if my body can take it. I use to be a power lifter. and when I get back into gymmode I wanna go hard. but I no I cant. I just need to get back in the right state of mind so this all goes away, guess one day at a time.

  • jon pier

    I’ve broke my left knee twice. back twice and now I’m on my 3rd broken neck. lot of pain. don’t go with a DCS. but I’d use a tens machine for pain. listen to your doc and start with the best in his field in your area. wait a year before surgery just as you may not need it,don’t think your not fixed even when your are as it only takes a second to be back where you were before.good luck and God Bless.

  • jon pier

    I’ve broke my knee twice,back twice and now on my 3rd broken neck. find a doctor that is best,THE BEST in his field.You want a Nero Doc. wait about a year as you may heal on your on. Do not got go with a DCS machine, use a tens for the pain. Don’t think it cant happen to you again.Good luck and God Bless.

  • shirley

    I am 65 fell at my front door causing my neck to snap back. I broke C2 C4 and crack on C5
    My husband thought I had whip lash told me just lay flat of my back. Next day I hurt so bad I made my Dr. Then sent me for x ray. I was called back and told I had broken neck.They puts brace on my neck been 6 weeks now. My thing is when I sit or stand I get so nauseous I can’t do anything. Will this ever go away. I do still have brace on.

  • Dena

    July 11th, 1993 I was involved in a single car accident. The driver was going 125 mph on a wet dirt road. He slammed on the brakes and sent the car fishtailing into the ditch at least twice, then rolled from corner to corner 13 times! I fractured my C3 in two places, crushed my R shoulder, had 2 complete breaks in my R clavicle, broke a few ribs and a finger, horrible concussion. I wore a halo for 3 months, hard collar for 3 months, then soft collar for a month. I did not have surgery. The removal of the halo was not painful for me itself, until I had to depend on my neck muscles that were seriously weakened from 3mos of no movement.
    This month I’ve started to notice cracks/grinds every once in awhile that is clearly on or near my C3 fractures. I can’t explain the fear, but it has brought back a ton of anxiety. Just the sound, and it being so close to my ears. Scares me. I can relate to many of you. I can promise you that the emotional toll it took on my life is devastating. I’d much rather deal with physical rather than emotional pain!! Good luck to everyone!

  • Dylan

    I’m 15, 4 months ago today i flipped a rhino ( yamaha 700cc buggy), i broke my neck (c6 vertebrae) , 6 ribs, punctured my lung and broke my shoulder in 2 places, i am now out of the brace ( MIA JTO) but i do remember feeling miserable during the time that i was in the brace, i wore the brace for 15 weeks, longer than i should have, i was told that i would make a full recovery in about 6 months and have had no complications since the accident, I’m just thankful to be alive and thankful that i am able to walk.since I’ve been out of the brace i have lowly started getting back into fitness and have even started skating again, not taking any thoughtless risks of course

  • Joe

    Hi There! I’m a 35 year old man from Portland, OR. I was involved in a mountaineering accident on Lane Peak in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington State on the morning of May 11th 2014, Mothers Day. My climbing partner, who also happens to be my girlfriend, and I were on a moderately steep snow and ice route. It was a bluebird day and the conditions were fantastic. Nearing the top of the route and large amount of snow sleffed off from the rock wall to my right that lines the narrow chute we were climbing. It knocked us both off route with great force. my girl was able to quickly self arrest with her ice axe , but i was not. I ended up 800 feet down the chute, stopping by friction alone. I was conscience the whole time. I immediately got to my feet and stared checking for injuries, running my hand under my base layers looking for blood, moving my limbs, no pain no broken bones. My adrenaline was pumping and i was not feeling the pain from my neck, i also was not properly triaging the situation. I felt my lower spine, around my face and head. It was at that point that I turned my head to yell to my partner and a massive amount of pain shot through my neck. I immediately sat down and held my head in c-spine support with my hands. my partner down climbed to me and stabilized me, sitting me on our climbing rope to get me off the snow, and bundling me up in all of our emergency layers and a bivy. hypothermia is just as deadly as the fractured c1 and c2 vertebrae in my neck. so skipping the rescue portion of the story, I wound up with a fractured c1, and a type two fracture of the c2. My odontoid(dens) was completely broken off from its base. I was brought to Harborview in Seattle. I needed surgery as the c2 was a very unstable fracture. The doc laid it out as two choices. 1- a fusion of the vertebrae, or 2- to go in anteriorly and set screws to anchor in the odontoid. Both have a certain level of risk. He suggested option 2, which would preserve my mobility in my neck “so I can go back and finish the climb next year”. With a smile I agreed. The surgery was done, and the decision to put me in a halo was made, to be super conservative. I write this with 10 days left til the halo comes off(most likely). 10 day and 10 hours, but who’s counting 😉 I have had the pins go loose twice unfortunately, but that has been the only negative to this experience, because as some of you know it is quite painful when they tighten them, and I dont take opiate based pain meds. I have been eating medical marijuana products though, lucky me I live in oregon! very effective, non addictive, and taste good too 🙂 I have had a wonderful amount of support from my girl, my family, friends, and neighbors. and i am lucky to be a part of a union that offers me great health insurance that is covering most of my expenses. I havent had any numbness anywhere and I am extremely grateful to the universe for my continuing existence here 🙂 sure its been tough, i wake up extremely sore, and I have had a few days where I have been down, but really generally keeping positive. and still finding out what I am learning from this. I am really looking forward to rehabbing my neck and being able to get more exercise, as i have been limited to walking only. Along with PT i will also be seeing a naturalpathic MD for acupuncture and massage. I will check back in a few weeks with an update. it has been extremely educational and rewarding to read all of your posts, thank you 🙂

  • alvinf478

    God has bigger plans for me’i was involved in a car a week and a half ago’i broke my c6 and walked away with my spinal cord intact.

  • alvinf478

    I had tremendous pain and still suffer through pain everyday and night but it has gotten better.I will be wearing a neckbrace for at least 4 weeks and then the drs. Will decide if I need surgery.The more post I read the more I realize how lucky I am.The c6 is broken but I still have my life and ability to walk.God is Good.

  • Sally Moran

    I was walking up an aisle in a very dark movie theater, tripped and went flying in space. So dark I could not grab something to stop my fall. Right face fell onto cup holder on arm rest. Cut into bone of cheek, hence lots of stitches and nerve damage so my cheek is numb, half of my nose and lip. Can’t smile correctly. Also broke nose and neck. c3 was fractured. No surgery needed. It is now 5 weeks in plastic hard annoying neck brace. Very limited in what was a very busy life. Reading others experiences make me feel better. I feel like I will never get out of brace.Hard to sleep or be in any position for long. Shoulder and neck and back muscles ache. Good luck to all!

  • Regina smith

    My son broke 1and 2 was in halo 4 months it happen in us 20s now he’s 33 has headaches wear is pins were . . Can sme one talk to me . He never told me of problems . But he privite and proude . He’s married and has a child . He’s blessed . I know it could have be worse . It’s called the hang men’s fx. . I’ve read a lot of you guys story’s

  • Tiffany

    My name is Tiffany. I am 25. I was in an accident almost 4 weeks ago. I was Tboned by an F250 on my passenger side on my way home from night class. Fortunately I was alone in my car because anyone on my passenger side would have died. Getting hit without my children in the car has been one if the things I thank God for and gets me through each day. After getting to the hospital and having xrays and scans the neurosurgeon told me I had a fractured C7. He told me it was unusual to have broken JUST my C7 with no other injuries. As I read through every post on here I didn’t find more th an 1 person who talked of a single C7 fracture so I guess it’s not so common. I do wish I saw more stories with my specific injury to get a better idea though. I can walk and move everything so far. I was placed in a brace. A hard neck and back brace. I am told I will wear this for three months. No surgery ad of yet. I am told nothing has moved out of place and I am stable. More xrays to make sure in a few weeks. This thing is uncomfortable but reading about a halo I feel I can’t complain. I am very scared that my C7 will not heal on its own. Idk why. I’ve read that spinal bones take longer to heal. I have pain in my neck and upper back if I move alot (do dishes, pick up, laundry) it’s like a burning sensation. I think it’s just muscle. I try not to overdo it but I am married with two children. I have been a stay at home mother for 5 years. It’s hard not to do what I have always done. It’s really hard to just sit here and look at messes piling up. My husband tries to help and my kids somewhat do but ya know. It’s just hard. I am so thankful that I can walk talk breathe live my children love my husband take a shower go to the bathroom feed myself. ….God is working on me from the inside right now. I have felt it everyday. I follow a girl on instagram “hopeloveandme” I had followed her prior because her Posts were insputational….the are now more than ever. Follow her. I’d you ever need someone to talk to my email is
    This has been just as hard mentally and emotionally as it has been physically. I was accepted and ready to start nursing school this Fall (in 3 months) I won’t start until Spring now. Better late than never though. I know this experience will make me so much more of a nurse. God bless you all. We are going through this for a reason.

  • Tiffany

    Follow “hopeloveandme” on instagram. She has a C3 spinal cordbinjury. Quadrapalegic. Someone I look up to. Sorry for typos. My hands are cramping.

  • Somer

    On August 22, 2014, I was a passenger on the back of a Goldwing. We were hit head-on by a 61 year old woman who was returning home after a dinner party. I am 46, and the driver of our motorcycle was 59. I flew into the woman’s windshield, ripping large chunks of my hair out that remained in the windshield as well as all over the ground. I had my hair in a ponytail followed by a hair clip. Neither of us were wearing helmets, and although I agree they are a terrific safety feature, it’s been my conclusion that a helmet in this particular case would have indeed killed me. I landed on the ground, on the other side of the woman’s car…unconscious. The driver of our bike just laid where the bike fell…the crash bars protecting him. He was conscious. No one had been drinking. Anyway, I was air-lifted to Flagstaff Trauma. I suffered a broken neck, C1 & C5. C5 “burst” into my spinal cord. Additionally, I had multiple fractures all over my head, as well as fractured the left side of my face. I had immediate surgery, with each shard of bone from C5 being removed from my spinal cord as C5 no longer existed. The bone fragments were used in a mixture to create a cage around where C5 had been. C1 was left alone as a break in this particular bone is usually lethal. I suffered a permanent spinal cord injury, permanent nerve damage in my arms, and absolutely no feeling in my hands. I may move my extremities, including my hands…I just can’t feel. It’s as if they’re asleep. I walk with a cane due to problems with my balance at times. The nerve damage in my arms, particularly in my left arm, burns non-stop, and I’m expected to remain on pain medication for the rest of my life. Additionally, I suffered a mild Traumatic Brain Injury. This whole event has destroyed who I once was. I’m a veteran, and believe the ten years I spent serving, definitely helped me survived. I spent four weeks in ICU where I developed pneumonia. That’s what the Dr’s thought for sure would killed me. I hallucinated badly. Did anyone else have this problem? Of course I was heavily, heavily medicated. Once I was moved to recovery, I had to learn to walk again, use my hands, write. My hair had to grow back…Thank God for Biotin! My hair is still much different. The whole ordeal has been a nightmare. I used to run, and hope to again, but don’t know if the pounding will affect my neck; and of course I have to regain my balance. I wish the rest of you better health and continued healing! Much love!

  • JP

    On oct 15 2015 i was hiking. I dropped my lighter and went to pick it up. Upon coming back up I blacked out (Pots) and went off the side of the cliff. I awoke to my hiking partner asking if i was ok? I trgained consciousness and was able to speak. I landed on my back in some boulders. I am a healthy 38 yr old. I was able to move and get up so I thought i had just landed hard and was bruised up. I finished and went home. About 5 hours later my girlfriend came to visit and demanded I go to the Hospital. I knew i was bad but dont like hospitals.

    We arrive at the ER and i get out of the jeep carefully. They took me in asap. Upon all the x-rays and CT and whatever other scans they did to me the doctor arrives and asks me how stupid I was not to call 911 and not come in. iI explained i dont like hospitals. He said I was bery lucky to even move. I have c3-c6 fractured and t4-6 fractured. No splinters or anything. I was scared outta my witts when he told me the news. I spent a week in the ICU at a trauma-2 center which they transfered me too and was released in a miami-j collar (plastic collar).

    One month has passed. No headaches. I can walk. I can move. My shoulder muscles and tendons are healing but hurse worse than my neck as i tore alot in the scapula. The only bad thing is when i turn in bed a lil or go to get up i get really dizzy. Im hoping this passes. So far i can feel the lil tweaks when i stretch when i wake up (very carefully).

    Im amazed at my stupidity. NEVER LET SOMEONE WITH THIS TYPE OF POSSIBLE INJURY MOVE!! Call 911. Dont be a dummy like me. Im very fortunate.

    I will update the thread after my next scans. Im optomistic i am doin well. The brace sucks but im greatful im alive and can walk n move. The dizzy thing scares me but so far no neuro issues have been diagnosed other than having a bad concussion. I pray i heal up good and have been taking it easy. I cant lift anything really of weight yet. Minimal things like a laptop n such are about it. Showering is scary when i take the brace off but they said it was ok to do so. Good luck too all in our situations.

  • I was twenty one, my horse was spooked by a dog. I weighed 100 lbs. My horse stood fifteen hands. I hit the pavement, going as fast as my horse could run down a hill. I fractured my right front lobe(forehead). I have extensive damage and lost the ability to use that part of my brain. I broke my neck , collar bone. Damaged c-4,5,6,7… Broke it at c-3-c-4 . I was in the hospital, the doctor said I would never leave the bed… That I would be a vegetable. I heard him, I couldn’t see him, as my eyes were the size of golf balls and my head was so swollen. I had people tell me they couldn’t even recognize me.. I made it through, the doctors sent me home early as I had no medical insurance. I left the hospital not being able to stand up… As I was severely sick and dizzy, tendinitis. I couldn’t lay down flat as I couldn’t breath and couldn’t sit up to much either. To get up and walk, I had to hang onto the wall…. Found out five years later I broke my neck, from a bone doctor as my neck stuck one day and would t turn. The doctors at the hospital had overlooked my broken neck… I was a bodybuilder at the time of the accident, and my doctor said it was the muscle strength in my neck that saved me. The way I fell should of decapitated me as I hit my face and the force flipped my body three times over hitting my spine and head at each turn. I looked like a monster. It’s been twenty six years since the accident, I went to work not knowing my full effects of the accident after only a few short months. The spine pain was emense,, when it hit I couldn’t breath. I worked as a baker, then a Chef kitchen manager… I did this without a front right lobe. I had three children, the spine pain was bad, from that point my body started getting worse. I now have nerve damage as I have vertebrates pressing on my nerves in my spine. Since they didn’t catch my broken neck. They don’t want to do surgery, as they could paralyze me. I can’t sleep, I don’t take pain pills as they don’t touch my pain. Nothing helps. I get to be told the last MRI showed more damage In my left side of my neck and I have had my right side go numb more then once. My hands go numb often and some days I can’t walk without my right ankle dragging a bit. Some days I can walk and hold my breath, smile and pretend I’m ok.. I lift my groceries and hear the crunch in my neck. Knowing I won’t be moving well later. People are mean saying because I look good I’m ok. They have no idea that I cry myself to sleep most nights. Or I have mood swings because of my brain damage. That I forget everyday….. We are all lucky to be here, every accident could of been our last. Don’t let people tell you it won’t hurt later, it will. It’s damaged its gonna hurt as you get older, you will have to be stronger then you ever have been. You will have to go on, there is no stopping. Once you stop its over….. Push on my friends, till you can’t …. May God bless and keep you

  • David Band

    Will I ever be able to walk again? That’s the question preying on my mind almost everyday as I approache three months of this Halo. I broke c1 and it had to be repaired with wire and the doctor fused c1 and c2 with the bone from my hip.
    Have a 70 year old guy that apparently had this fractured neck for 3 months my doctors even did surgery. The neurosurgeon was surprised that I went so long without a repair. I think it was a chiropractor adjustment that did it
    Anyway the surgery was on November 2nd and I’m now approaching February 2nd which will be 3 months. The real weird thing about this is that because of my age I think I’ve got advanced arthritis in my feet and I haven’t been able to take the anti inflammatory medicine that has always worked so well to keep it completely under control. Now for as long as I’ve had the halo I’ve been virtually unable to walk and the physical therapist have been nurturing to walk again as though I have a spinal cord injury. The feet hurt so bad I take little steps Like an old man. ime. I look like I told Band but I think it’s mostly pain in the feet and not any real nerve pain from a damages spinal cord.
    I suppose I’ll just have to wait for the procedure to remove the halo on February 16th to see if my walking improves although if they don’t let me return to my anti-inflammatories, I can see the arthritis in the feet staying very very long which means I really would have great difficulty walking until I can resume anti-inflammatories.
    This is really a dilemma I haven’t read about in anybody’s blog. Has anybody heard about people not being able to walk not because of nerve damage but because of arthritis uncontrolled by anti inflammatories that you can’t take?

  • Drew

    On December 2 2015 I was deer hunting with my daughter. Our camp is at the end of the road. We were hunting with some guys that have a camp 45 min through the bush on an ATV trail past our camp. It was around 10:30am and my daughter was successful in her first muzzle loader season. We were driving back on our ATV’s to our camp with one of the other guys in front of us and my daughter on the back of my ATV and the deer ratchet strapped to the front. My 18 year old daughter wanted to drive the ATV which I said would be ok once we passed the ravine because it’s dangerous. No more than 1 minute passed when we were driving along side the ravine. From what I pieced together, as we were driving very slowly the front legs of the deer clipped a tree on the left side which hindered my steering and my right front wheel dropped into the ravine. When this happened the ATV fell sideways with me the deer and my daughter as well. My daughter was on a two up seat and was thrown clear of the ATV but I wasn’t as lucky. Because I had no where to go I landed with my head and chest first into the embankment on the other side. Needless to say the ATV followed and landed on top of me twisting my neck 180* or so my daughter said I was chest down and looking backwards. I don’t remember much because I has a concussion as well. After I got out from under the ATV and out of the ravine I remember saying oh my god I broke my neck!!! But then I said I must be ok because I’m standing here. My daughter yelled at one of the other guys for help. My left arm, hand and chest were numb and I also had a hard time breathing. I’m 45 and have worked a physical job, raced bikes, did freestyle BMX and skateboarded ramps so I’ve had a few accidents in my time. I just thought I needed to walk it off. I didn’t know the extent of the injury’s until later. My daughter told me later that I repeated myself over and over ” guys I’m really F#*KED up right now” I knew I had a concussion because I was pretty spaced and I’ve had a few before. I said I was fine and just needed to get home and rest. I jumped on the back of one guys ATV and my daughter got onto another. We drove 45 minutes out of the bush through swamps and bumps all the way back to my truck and trailer. We left my ATV in the ravine to get later. We loaded the deer in my trailer changed out of our hunting cloths and my daughter drove me another 45 minutes home. My daughter texted my wife to tell her we had an accident and I was acting funny so she met me at the door when we arrived. She said I should go to the hospital but I said I was fine, I hurt my neck and have a concussion. She did what any good wife would do and kept pressuring me, so I said lets hang this deer and then we’ll go. Needless to say I was getting stiffer by the minute and hanging it was a difficult task. We get it done and I went to take a shower. A minute into the shower and the hot water on my neck wasn’t helping I almost passed out so I thought lets go I’m not feeling well. We arrive at the hospital and park. It seemed like the twilight zone my wife was walking so fast. She turned to me and asked what’s wrong. I said I was having a hard time breathing and I was really hunched over. We get to admitting in the emergency where I sat for another two hours before speaking to someone. The nurse asked what happened so I proceeded to tell her. She immediately grabbed a phone and said a bunch of stuff and the next thing I new there was three or four nurses around me. One pulled out a collar and said don’t be afraid this is for show!!! Ya right that was the last day I haven’t had a collar on since. After they put the collar on they put me on a hard board on a gurney. I went trough a series of tests including CT scan and X-Rays. They discovered I had fractured C6 and C7 with C6 nerve damage. I was kind of in disbelief and didn’t know what that meant. I think I was in shock really. After the test they called another hospital with a neurosurgeon on call and transferred me there by ambulance. I live in Canada and December 2nd was the first ice rain of the season. Needless to say the trauma unit was busy as hell. They said they would get me into a room as soon as they could so the surgeon could have a look at me and determine if it was stable or not. Within 10 minutes I was moved to bed 1 of the intensive care trauma unit under observation. It was pretty scary realizing the reality and severity of what had happened. They preformed more tests and an MRI was ordered to determine if surgery would be needed. At this point I couldn’t lift my left arm and my hand was numb. The numbness in my chest was getting less. The surgeon examined the test results and determined it was unstable and ordered me to bed rest where I stayed for four days. After being tested and checked for the first three days the surgeon felt it better to try and heal on my own and if that doesn’t work then preform surgery. I am a bodybuilder and go to the gym 5 days a week. I have (had) a very muscular physique with large neck, back, and shoulders which the surgeon said saved my life. I hope I am able to return to my life of bodybuilding soon it’s been 10 weeks now and I feel quite well. I have muscle spasms in my upper back, left arm and right arm pit. I have also experienced pain in my left arm so intense it felt as though to was dislocated and I couldn’t move it. I think the most annoying thing is the ringing in my ears and lack of concentration. I have been off work since this happened and have two weeks to go with the neck brace at best then physio therapy. I will know more about the damage after the brace is removed and I can move my neck. I’m not sure what my future is going to be like but I’m optimistic that I will have a full recovery. Perhaps I may have numb fingers and muscle spasms, I can medicate for that if needed it’s all the unknown that scares me. To all in my position all I can say is be positive and consistency and patience are the key to success. Good luck to all

  • I broke my c1 and twisted my c2 , car roll accident…its been 10 months, also broke l4 in lower back…an mri is finally scheduled for this month, this week..all the referrals and crap has me so drained…im nervous, im not paralyzed, minimal movement in neck, but doc seems tothink im showing signs of netve damage…im 58 yr old extremely active female…but this has put so much stress on me…i feel for anyone in this situation, doctors appts, referrals that expire…nonesence like my insurance is really behind all the delay…im scared, and people around me have no idea how overwhelmed, yet glad to have survived able to walk, alot of pain…i would not wish this trauma on anyone…its a blessing i made it…but spmetimes ive dealt with woshing i hadnt…perhaps after the mri, ill know really whats up. Im still in a neck and back brace for hecks sake!!! Im tired of everyone close to me daying im o,k…but the neurosurgeon doesnt seem to be so sure…i hope this made sence….im so anticipating some good news so i can start living again.

  • Nicola McKay

    Hi Everyone
    I was just googling to find out about after having broken my C1 & C2, not snowboarding or doing something exciting I fell the stairs in my wee brother’s house..I wish I had found this page when I had the Halo brace on it was brutal, worst was trying to sleep, it was like a form of torture sleep deprivation, also my pins would loosen more like bolts,pins ma arse so 50m trip to Fort William from Oban lovely scenery but couldn’t even turn my head to enjoy, I got really depressed but I’m ok now back at work, but recently I have been getting pins & needles down my arm accompanied by numbness in forefinger & thumbs, Dr said nerve damage & prescribed Pregablin but now I’m experiencing pins & needles down my left leg. Does anyone suffer from this I broke my neck in 2011 does it continue to get worse? To everyone with a halo brace on the moment stay strong x

  • Im twenty two years old and would love advice if anyone is willing to send me some. I was in a Car accident on April 2nd, 2016 and have been looking everywhere for advice and stumbled across this site. Thank you all for your stories if anyone reads this, it’s nice to know others have had it worse…. Anyways my story is I was going about 75 miles in the right lane on my way to Prescott while approaching a semi, and hadn’t seen any other drivers for a while, so I checked my mirrors, put on my blinker and started to merge. In my blind spot there was a unseen truck, and it an attempt to avoid hitting them, I fly and flip about four times. I fractured my C2 and C3 as well as ripping three tendons in my right arm. I lost my dog, my car, and most of my possessions (I was attempting to move states for AZ to Orgeon.). This Friday (8 weeks in) my doctor told me I could start sleeping and showering without my brace due to the x Ray he had taken looking good. However, I’ve been having a hard time understanding how I’m supposed to be sleeping. Side? Back? Pillow? Or do I try to lay flat???? I’ve no idea what to do and I feel so lost and alone. It’s giving me a major anxiety attack as I am worried I’m gonna hurt myself tossing and turning. Someone please help….

  • Ron. prouse

    I broke c=1 and C-3It happened in a head on car Collision… I had the same fracture is Chris freeze it happen 2 months apart he have to cut off of abortion practice 23 became paralyzed may I spinal cord injury. It took me about 8 months to a year to learn how to walk I was stuck with a cane for a very long time but now I can walk fine everything is alright but I have headaches everyday morning noon and night but I did do physical therapy because I was scared to take physical therapy. So what happened was C1 C2 C3 and C4 are fused together one big bone so I walk sort of like Frankenstein I think God everyday that I can walk and talk cuz I had a tree fall on my ribs were broken I mean I’m a walking Miracle

  • Sue Lintern

    Can anyone give me some hope . I had a A D C F with neck cage as I broke my c6 and c7 about 8 weeks ago . Though still pins and needles in fingers . Can anyone tell me if this is still early days and still have time for pins and needles to go . Having alot of muscle spasms neck which is so uncomfortable just feeling fed up. Hope someone can answer my questions many thanks

  • Eric02456

    I fractured my c-2 one week ago in a car accident. The doctors said I was very lucky like all of y’all to still be walking and that the fracture was stable. Luckily the car wreck happened right outside a nurses house and the nurse came out and stabilized my neck. Since the injury was stable I was out in an aspen neck brace but the time was not very specific. Has anyone had the same injury where you were out into a neck brace? If so how long did you have to wear it? It’s only been a week but I feel like exercising or working out given I was very active before. I’ve been off pin killers for a couple days now and although my neck and upper back hurt It is tolerable.

  • Joce

    I’m 28 years old and was in a car accident 3 months ago. I fractured my c2, broke in half. I was put in a halo brace for 9 weeks and am now wearing a hard neck collar (for the past 4 weeks now. I was miserable in the halo brace, emotionally and physically. I have 3 kids and the youngest is months old so it was pretty hard for me. I started reading self improvement books and the bible, which got me through it along with the support of my family and boyfriend. I’m so blessed to not come out of the accident paralyzed or dead. It was the scariest moment of my life, by far. My neck feels fine and my xrays are showing improvement every time I come in. I’m hoping I can get through this without any surgery. I’m a little bummed out that I probably have to limit what I do with my neck for the rest of my life. But thankful that I’m alive.

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