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What is internal decapitation?

On Behalf of | Jul 27, 2021 | Truck Accidents |

In an auto accident, your body goes through a lot.  The possibility for severe injuries can be extreme, and some injuries are more likely to cause death than others if you do not react properly.  One such injury is internal decapitation.

According to LiveScience, internal decapitation usually results in immediate death, but it is survivable in some situations.


Internal decapitation occurs due to the severing of the ligaments connecting the spine to the skull.  The severity of this injury is not from that tearing of the ligaments but rather due to movement of the head afterward. If the head moves too much, it can cause brain stem damage.

Surviving the injury

Because internal decapitation is not immediately apparent, moving someone with the condition before stabilizing the neck is usually fatal.  To survive the injury, someone must stabilize your neck right away.

With proper stabilization, you can get the proper medical attention before damage occurs to your brain stem.  Fixing the injury requires surgery to add rods, screws and plates that will stabilize your neck and allow the ligaments to repair.

Recovering from internal decapitation is a long process.  During recovery, you must maintain the proper head position to avoid further injury.  You will likely have to go through physical therapy during healing and afterward.  The process can be quite painful, and you may have other side effects from the injury.

Surviving an internal decapitation is rare.  In any accident, there is the potential for such an injury to occur, but it requires quick thinking and actions on the part of others to save your life if you do have an internal decapitation.

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