View Full Version : Broken neck?

01-03-2013, 10:46 AM
I'm just wondering how far you have to fall to break your neck and die.

This is the scenario: Man A is standing with his hands stretched above his hands and Woman B is doing a hand stand on his palms (kind like circus trickery/Cirque du Soleil stuff). I'm just wondering if he takes a step back, or they're unbalanced for whatever reason, if she falls and lands on her head, if that would be enough to kill her.

(He's six feet, standing, plus whatever reach his hands would have above his head).

01-03-2013, 11:37 AM
Yes she could absolutely die if she falls the wrong way on her neck. Even a fall from a short distance can be fatal.

01-03-2013, 12:10 PM
Awesome, thanks. :D (Well, not awesome for her, but you know what I mean).

01-03-2013, 02:30 PM
Yes she could absolutely die if she falls the wrong way on her neck. Even a fall from a short distance can be fatal.


It's all about how you land, rather than how far you fall. And bear in mind that just because you break your neck it doesn't mean you will die. Some people can break their neck and not realise - this is actually more dangerous as you can do serious damage.

01-03-2013, 03:46 PM
Oh, I know they're not all fatal, I just needed to know if it *could* be fatal, so that I'm not operating entirely outside the realm of logic.

My back up plan was to have him accidentally stab her. >_>

French Maiden
01-03-2013, 04:44 PM
It's how you land, where the break is.
My brother was in a car accident (I know different scenario) broke his neck at C2 and is 100% mine can walk etc.

It all depends where the break is, how severe it is, angle at which they fall etc.

01-03-2013, 05:07 PM
If she falls on to the top of her head, neck compression could be fatal, couldn't it?

Or if she falls straight down but her chin goes down onto her chest, she would hit more towards the back of her head and that could well snap her spinal cord.

01-03-2013, 11:27 PM
It is ALL in how you land, as the other posters have said. You could fall from a standing position and break your neck (or hip/leg/arm), but there's also stories of people falling from several stories up and walking away with just a few scratches.

Plus another thing to consider is the state of the falling body - i.e. Grandma who has osteoporosis is more likely to break a bone than her elite athletic grandson. There are a variety of other possibilities besides osteoporosis that can affect younger people - if your "woman b" is a gymnast, maybe she isn't eating enough and has vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Or maybe she just has a mild/undiagnosed genetic disease. Lotsa possibilities.

Bri Perkins
01-07-2013, 03:51 PM
Even from a short distance, you can break your neck if you land at the right - or should I say, wrong - angle.

01-08-2013, 09:21 AM
Exactly. Think about diving into a shallow pool. Might only be 4 foot or so deep, but if you the wrong way it can be fatal.

01-08-2013, 09:29 AM
An Arena Football League player died on the field from a broken neck a couple of years ago after colliding with another player in a pretty unviolent, innocuous event. A routine play, just hit his head (in a helmet) at exactly the wrong angle. Doesn't take much force, in such a circumstance.