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I once broke my neck and literally walked away and didn’t realize it

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Location: Southern Illinois
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So fun fact, it is possible to break one’s neck and not know it!!

When I was 15 and a sophomore in high school I was on the track team.  I was trying really, really hard at the high jump, and eventually found that I jumped best when I jumped with my right side as opposed to my left side like everyone else does.

At my first track meet during my very first jump of the very first heat, I was the last person to jump.  Everyone else jumped with their left side and each time they nudged the mats over a bit.  I went to jump, cleared the bar—and the mats!  I can remember seeing the mats pass by me and thinking “this is going to be a problem” and then hit the ground.  The bar was set at 5’6” and I jumped higher than that.

Strangely, I never felt the break.  I sat out the rest of the meet, but didn’t feel any worse, aside from my neck stiffening enormously.  By the end of the meet I could not move my head at all.  Not even one degree.  It was like my head was held in place by a vice.  And that was it for track.

So in the end I consider myself extremely lucky.  I got an X-ray the next day that showed it was broken, specifically my C6 vertebrae.  So that was a problem.  There was one additional problem—NOBODY TOLD ME!!  For six weeks I walked around with a broken neck!  I had no collar, brace, halo, or any type of support.  It wasn’t until I had a follow up appointment six weeks later that I found out that I actually broke my neck.

As I said,  I consider myself extremely lucky.  Today I am no worse for wear (regarding my neck at least).  I can move around with full mobility.  I have a friend who broke his neck in a diving accident, broke the same vertebrae and is paralyzed from the neck down.

steward & bricolagier
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Location: SW Missouri
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Holy CARP!!

I'm glad you are ok! That's ... wow.
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I knew a logger that got struck my a tree and broke his neck. He knew it of course, but as it healed, he kept logging! No joke...but that might not be amazing, but just a workaholic being stupid.

My daughter broke her collarbone. She was like 18 months at the time, and was sleeping in bed with us, her parents. I get up early, so after I got out of bed, she rolled over and fell on the floor. She kept wincing, but never cried, so we took her to the Emergency Room. The doctor there said, "It is not broke, if it was, your daughter would be crying." An hour later he said, "Well this is why we do x-rays, she broke her collar bone."  The biggest miracle on that was that he did not report us to DHHS for abuse, he said it was a very common injury on kids. Thank goodness!
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Interesting how the body is like that.
I tore my ACL playing volleyball. Didnt even know I had injured myself at all, until the next day I woke up and my knee was swollen and I could barely bend it. Then I knew I had done something. Did that with my toe, too. Broke my big toe in weights and conditioning when I dropped a 45lb weight directly onto my toe from about 4 feet high. Didnt know it was broke until the adrenaline from my 3 mile run wore off two hours later.....
i honestly chalk both up to adrenaline. The body can withstand all kinds of unknown punishment when were in the "right" mindset and/or physiological condition. Its like moms lifting up whole cars to save babies kinds of things.
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