The seven bones in the neck are called the cervical vertebrae. Those bones support the head and connect it to the shoulders and body. A fracture, or break, in one of the cervical vertebrae is commonly called a broken neck. Large amount of force causes a cervical fracture.
Motor vehicle crashes and falls are some of the most common causes of cervical fracture. A severe, sudden twist in the neck or a severe blow to the head or neck can cause this fracture. Violent physical contact sports can also cause a fracture in the cervical vertebrae including football and ice hockey. In automobile accidents, common causes of cervical fracture include crashing into a concrete divider or tree, head on collisions, or crashing into the bottom of shallow water.
Cervical fractures often result in C1 or C2 fracture in the neck. The upper cervical spine is defined by the two most cephalad cervical vertebrae, C1 (atlas) and C2 (axis). This region is characterized by the anatomical shape and is more mobile than the lower cervical spine, lower cervical spine. Common causes of the C1 and C2 fractures are motor vehicle accidents or other comparable traumatic forces.