C2 Fractures: The Hangman’s Fracture

A hangman’s fracture is a type of cervical spine injury. This injury occurs when the second vertebra — also known as the axis — in a person’s neck is fractured. 

These fractures are often seen in cases of severe trauma. Common examples include car accidents and falls. A hangman’s fracture can lead to serious neurological damage and even death if not properly treated. 

The term “hangman’s fracture” is derived from the fact that the injury is associated with hangings. Traditionally, hangings involved the use of a rope or noose around the person’s neck. But these fractures can occur in a variety of ways.

Typical Causes of Hangman’s Fractures

There are a few common causes of hangman’s fractures. These causes include motor vehicle accidents, falls from heights, and sports-related mishaps. 

The injury may happen when the head and neck are suddenly jerked forward, causing the axis to crack at the base of the odontoid process. The odontoid process is a bony extension that serves as a pivot point for the head and neck. 

If you have suffered this type of injury as the result of another party’s negligence, you may be able to seek financial compensation. A skilled personal injury lawyer can assess the facts of your hangman’s fracture claim and pursue justice for you.

Signs and Symptoms of a C2 Fracture

Symptoms of a hangman’s fracture can vary depending on the severity of the injury and the extent of physical damage. 

Common symptoms include: 

  • Severe neck pain
  • Stiffness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Limited mobility of the head and neck  

In more severe cases, victims may experience tingling or numbness in the arms or legs and even paralysis. 

Diagnosis of a hangman’s fracture typically involves a physical exam, imaging studies, and a neurological evaluation to assess any potential harm to the spinal cord or nerves. 

Useful imaging diagnostics include: 

  • X-rays
  • CT scans
  • MRI scans 

Required treatments for a hangman’s fracture will depend on the severity of the injury. The person may require immobilization of the neck with a brace or halo device, pain management, and physical therapy. Physical therapy can help restore mobility and strength in the neck and nearby muscles. 

In more extreme instances, surgery may be necessary to stabilize the vertebrae and prevent further damage to the spinal cord. Surgical interventions often involve the use of screws, plates, or other hardware.  

These components can hold the vertebrae in place while the fracture heals. In some cases, a fusion procedure may help to permanently connect the affected vertebrae and prevent further movement.

How to Avoid Hangman’s Fractures

Prevention of a hangman’s fracture involves avoiding situations that could result in severe trauma to the neck. Important safety steps include wearing a seat belt while driving, using safety equipment during sports activities, and practicing safe procedures when working at heights or with heavy machinery. 

Ultimately, a hangman’s fracture is a serious injury that can result in significant neurological damage. In extreme cases, these injuries can be fatal for victims. 

Pursuing Compensation for a Hangman’s Fracture

If you have suffered a fracture of this type due to another person’s actions, it is important to consult a knowledgeable personal injury attorney as soon as possible.  

This serious injury usually results in mounting medical bills, lost income, and other costs for victims, such as: 

Fortunately, a personal injury attorney can use the evidence in your case to recover compensation for these losses.

A Skilled Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You Recover Compensation for Your Hangman’s Fracture

A hangman’s fracture can happen in a variety of ways. Regardless of the cause, these fractures are serious injuries that can result in long-term complications without proper treatment.

If you’ve sustained a hangman’s fracture due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to pursue compensation for the harm you’ve suffered. It is essential to reach out to a knowledgeable Clearwater personal injury attorney to determine your legal options.

Contact the Pinellas County Personal Injury Law Firm Of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers for Help

For more information, please contact the Clearwater and St. Petersburg personal injury law firm of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We serve in Pinellas County and its surrounding areas:

Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater
1875 N Belcher Rd. STE 201,
Clearwater, FL 33765,
United States
(727) 796-8282

Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg
2560 1st Ave S,
St. Petersburg, FL 33712,
United States
(727) 349-1728