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Neck injuries

With all neck injuries care must be taken to evaluate the cervical spine . Spinal injuries can sometimes be masked by pain elsewhere. If there is any suspicion of spinal injury, the neck should be immobilized and the athlete transported to hospital immediately.

Injuries to the larynx
The larynx (voice box) is hollow and is composed of elastic cartilage lined with mucous membrane. Air passes between the vocal cords to reach the lungs. When a blow to the anterior neck is sustained (as in a chop to the neck by an arm, stick, or ball), the cartilage of the larynx can be depressed quite sharply. When the impact ceases, the cartilage springs back owing to its elasticity; when that occurs the mucous membrane may be torn loose. Bleeding can then occur between the cartilage and the mucous membrane and can spread
to affect the vocal cords, which become swollen and cause hoarseness of the voice. The swelling can gradually increase until it obstructs the opening between the vocal cords to impede breathing. Children are particularly prone to this injury.Injuries to the larynx usually, however, heal with no treatment other than rest and observation.

Wounds to the neck
Wounds to the neck can involve the large blood vessels running to and from the heart. Injuries of this type are uncommon but serious. They can occur in ice hockey when a skate hits the neck, or during accidents in motor sports. Profuse bleeding occurs and must be stopped immediately by pressing a towel against the wound and applying constant hard pressure. The injured person should be transported to hospital immediately. Protective collars are mandatory in ice hockey.

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