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The Lonely One
04-24-2009, 08:34 AM
to break a neck, fatally?

CarolSanDiego
04-24-2009, 09:31 AM
High cervical - C2 or C1, with enough of a displacement that the spinal cord was irreversibly affected. The phrenic nerve, which innervates the diaphragm, is supplied by cervical spinal nerves C3-5, so above that, and the respiratory system can't function without a ventilator. Another option is a cervical injury with a secondary injury to a major neck artery, which could cause a fatal stroke (CVA).

quixote100104
04-24-2009, 11:15 AM
I've read (and been taught) that it is also possible to rotate the skull in such a way as to dislocate it and cut the spinal cord at it's entry point, with less force than would be needed to actually break bones. However, I've never had occasion to apply this technique, so I can't vouch for it's effectiveness.

Tsu Dho Nimh
04-24-2009, 05:03 PM
I've read (and been taught) that it is also possible to rotate the skull in such a way as to dislocate it and cut the spinal cord at it's entry point, with less force than would be needed to actually break bones. However, I've never had occasion to apply this technique, so I can't vouch for it's effectiveness.

Chiropracters have been known to do it, although the damage happens to some arteries, not the spinal cord itself.

http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/chirostroke.html

styloviolet
04-24-2009, 05:18 PM
CarolSanDiego is right--it would have to be VERY high cervical. It would more likely be a C2, injury though. It's hard to get a C1 injury, since the vertebra is so close to the skull. And it would definitely have to be what's called a "complete" injury (cuts off the whole spinal cord at that level). If it's a partial injury, you may have some returning function below the level of impact. It's possible for a person to survive with an incomplete C2, although they would most likely need ventilator assistance.

CarolSanDiego
04-24-2009, 06:57 PM
Well put, styloviolet.

Tsu Dho Nimh - I've seen a handful of patients following vertebral artery tears resulting from chiropractic manipulations. Pretty scary stuff.

RJK
04-24-2009, 10:19 PM
IIRC C3-4 snaps when you're hanged. Instantly fatal.

CarolSanDiego
04-25-2009, 03:27 AM
What does the abbreviation "IIRC" stand for?

Shail
04-25-2009, 04:02 AM
I don't know what IIRC stands for, but one way to break a neck in a fatal way is this.

Vertebra Cervical 1 called the Atlas, and Vertebra Cervical 2 known as the Axis form an interlocking axis on which the skull rests. The Axis, C2, has a unique formation called the 'dens' or 'odontoid process', which is basically a peg sticking up from the vertebra that fits through the central ring of C1 where the spinal cord runs. A thick ligament called the Transverse ligament holds the odontoid process in place against the Atlas. If this ligament gets torn, or the the Atlas or Axis become damaged the odontoid process will slam forward and sever the spinal cord.

Keep in mind my health care background is limited to alternative medicine, so I don't know everything.

I fetched appropriate image links from Wiki. Here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gray86.png

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gray87.png

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gray88.png

See also Hangman's fracture: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hangman%27s_fracture

Hope this helps.

eyeblink
04-25-2009, 10:56 AM
What does the abbreviation "IIRC" stand for?

If I remember correctly.

Keyan
04-25-2009, 12:30 PM
Chiropracters have been known to do it, although the damage happens to some arteries, not the spinal cord itself.

http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/chirostroke.html

I read some years ago of strokes occuring in women who'd been to their hairdressers, from stretching/ twisting/ pressing against the wash-basin edge as they had their hair washed.

In one case, the connection was very clear and the newspapers reported it. And some years later, I read of a case where there may have been a link: a woman went to her hairdresser, and after she left, collapsed and died of a stroke on the sidewalk outside.

Older women are more vulnerable, apparently.

CarolSanDiego
04-25-2009, 04:40 PM
If I remember correctly.

Thanks! I was trying to assign some medical or anatomical term to it and couldn't figure it out!

GeorgeK
04-25-2009, 07:09 PM
It rather depends upon the circumstances, the nature of the injury, the tech level in your setting, weather, response time of paramedics if any, etc. (e.g. A broken ankle could kill you if you are on the Ididerod and slip off your dog sled. By the same token if a motorcycle dare devil with paramedics on the scene crashes and has a burst fracture of C1, it is possible that he might eventually walk out of the hospital (not likely, but has happened)). If you just want the mantra taught during med school anatomy class C3,4,5 keeps the diaphragm alive, S2,3,4 keeps the penis off the floor...There are more but those are the ones most of the guys worried about. They refer to the nerve root levels that generally involve spinal cord innervation to the affected organ. It also is of note that the spinal cord is shorter than the spinal column. The nerves are anatomically separate from the cord at a location higher than the corresponding spinal location where they exit through/between the bones.

The Lonely One
04-26-2009, 12:39 AM
Thanks everyone. Kind of scared to meet any of you in person with this kind of knowledge under your belts, but thanks :)

quixote100104
04-26-2009, 02:40 AM
Thanks everyone. Kind of scared to meet any of you in person with this kind of knowledge under your belts, but thanks :)

Heh...this is nothing, scary-wise. You should have seen the looks on the child psychologists' faces when I, at 12, was able to comment intelligently on the best handgun actions for accurate suppressed fire and the proper technique for cutting throats efficiently.

Some boys stole their father's Playboys...I went after his Mack Bolan books. But really, I'm harmless ;-).

CarolSanDiego
04-27-2009, 05:34 AM
If you just want the mantra taught during med school anatomy class C3,4,5 keeps the diaphragm alive, S2,3,4 keeps the penis off the floor...


This is great - I love it. Why didn't we get that in PT school?