It only takes a few seconds for a normal day to turn into something catastrophic. Major injuries can sometimes occur without warning and are outside of your control. Many people overlook how much of an impact injuries can have on their mental health.
This is especially true for those that impact your quality of life, such as a neck fracture. Many people are unsure how long recovery takes to heal from a broken neck, and it’s essential to understand your situation so you can mentally prepare for it. Let’s explore the key information you need to know.
How Long Does It Take to Heal?
There’s no universal answer to this question, as it depends on various factors. Some of the most important include how the injury occurred, the force of the impact, and the patient’s overall health.
To clarify, let’s assume a gymnast missed a high bar and landed on their neck when they fell. This would be a high-impact injury that occurred when they were in a compromised position.
However, let’s also assume they have health issues that cause low bone density. Their recovery time could be far longer than expected. Recovery time is also influenced by whether the patient requires surgery.
Recovery can’t begin until after the surgery is complete, which could add days or even weeks to the timeline. In general, recovery can take anywhere from a few weeks to more than a few months. You’ll likely need to make lifestyle adjustments during your recovery to prevent other problems from occurring.
Common Broken Neck Causes
Car accidents are one of the most common reasons behind a broken neck. Even low-impact accidents can cause this injury in some situations. For instance, someone could rear-end another car at a low speed but still cause the airbag to deploy.
If the driver had their head in an awkward position when this occurred, it could cause major neck injuries. Another common cause is slips and falls. Landing hard on the back of your neck after falling can easily lead to a break.
This is especially common in elderly individuals, as they’re both more prone to falling and have low bone density. Athletes sometimes experience broken necks, as well.
This is most common in contact sports, such as football. A single errant movement can sometimes break someone’s neck due to the high velocity of this type of sport.
Imagine someone in a football game who went to “spear” an opposing team member with their shoulder during a tackle. The player holding the ball attempts to dodge the tackle, causing them to inadvertently put their neck at risk.
The player making the tackle strikes the other player’s neck with their shoulder, causing major injury. Situations like these often occur without warning, and they’re impossible to completely prevent.
Finding a Doctor
Many people assume that all medical professionals are created equal. Unfortunately, this has led to many situations where people get far worse results than they anticipated. The last thing you want is to have surgery to repair your neck injury and have additional complications arise.
When searching for a doctor, it’s essential to check their past reputation. This provides valuable insight into what you can expect from hiring them. It also helps ensure you avoid problems you may have otherwise encountered.
Do they seem enthusiastic about helping you? It’s best to avoid medical professionals who don’t seem concerned with getting the best possible results.
This often indicates they’ll fall short of your goals. Pricing is another attribute to consider.
Always check if your insurance will cover the procedure. If they only partially cover the surgery, how much will you have to pay out of pocket?
Investigating details like these can prevent you from dealing with major financial problems in the future. Are they easy to communicate with? It’s best to find someone easy to speak with and who quickly responds to your concerns.
The Interventional Orthopedics of Washington is a great example of what you should look for. With enough due diligence, you should have no issue getting the best results for your situation.
Speeding up Your Recovery
There are certain steps you can take to improve how fast you recover from ortho trauma. When handled correctly, these can substantially decrease how long you take medicine, wear a brace, etc. Let’s look at some of the most notable below.
Listen to Your Doctor
This is the most important advice to incorporate regarding your recovery. Those who don’t listen to their doctors risk extending their recovery time.
In some situations, you could even cause additional injuries. It’s best to get your doctor’s instructions in writing so you can follow them appropriately.
Don’t Remove Your Brace Prematurely
Wearing a neck brace or collar is often uncomfortable and inconvenient. Those who enjoy socializing might also be self-conscious about wearing this gear. Regardless, you must continue to wear it until your neck has healed appropriately.
The good news is there’s a good chance you won’t need to wear your brace or collar for the entirety of your recovery. Be careful after you remove it so you don’t aggravate your injury.
Consider Physical Therapy
Those with neck injuries should consider physical therapy to aid with their recovery. Not only does this help your injury heal, but it also ensures you maintain proper strength and mobility.
Foregoing physical therapy when you need it could cause you to experience more atrophy than anticipated. This results in your neck muscles wasting away.
Once you’ve healed enough to move your neck normally, you could cause strain and reinjure yourself. Your doctor will help you determine if physical therapy is a suitable option.
Ensure You Heal Appropriately
Recovering from a broken neck can be highly frustrating, but it’s essential to prioritize the healing process. The info in this guide will help ensure you take it easy until you’re ready to get back to your normal routine.
Looking for other lifestyle info that can help you out in the future? Our blog has plenty of articles like this. Be sure to check them out today!