Type your tag names separated by a space and hit enter

Neck Trauma, Blunt, Anterior

Neck Trauma, Blunt, Anterior is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

To view the entire topic, please or purchase a subscription.

Emergency Central is a collection of disease, drug, and test information including 5-Minute Emergency Medicine Consult, Davis’s Drug, McGraw-Hill Medical’s Diagnosaurus®, Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Tests, and MEDLINE Journals created for emergency medicine professionals. Explore these free sample topics:

Emergency Central

-- The first section of this topic is shown below --



  • Blunt anterior neck trauma may result in various injuries to structures in the neck:
    • Vascular:
      • Carotid artery injury (internal, external, common carotid)
      • Vertebral artery injury
      • Intramural hematoma, intimal tear, thrombosis, and pseudoaneurysm
      • Hemorrhage or neck hematoma
    • Laryngotracheal:
      • Laryngeal injuries: Fracture of hyoid bone, thyroid cartilage, cricoid cartilage, cricotracheal separation
      • Vocal cord disruption
      • Dislocation of arytenoid cartilage
      • Tracheal injuries: Hematoma or transection
    • Pharyngoesophageal:
      • Pharynx: Hematoma, perforation
      • Esophagus: Hematoma, perforation
    • Nervous system:
      • Thoracic sympathetic chain wraps around carotid artery: Disruption can result in Horner's syndrome
      • Vagus nerve and recurrent laryngeal nerve
      • Cervical nerve roots and spinal cord
    • Cervical spine:
      • Fracture of vertebral body, transverse process, spinous process, etc.
      • Dislocation


  • Motor vehicle accidents (most common cause):
    • Unrestrained occupants involved in frontal collisions may strike neck on dashboard or steering wheel: “Padded dash syndrome”
    • Shoulder harness (seatbelt) can also cause shearing injury to anterior neck.
  • Assault: Blows to anterior neck from fists, kicks, or objects
  • “Clothesline injury”:
    • Motorcycle, snowmobile, jet ski, or all-terrain vehicle (ATV)
    • Drivers strike neck on cord or wire suspended between 2 objects.
  • Strangulation

Pediatric Considerations
  • Head is proportionally larger in children, increasing risk of acceleration–deceleration injury to neck
  • Intraoral blow to soft palate may cause carotid thrombosis (popsicle in mouth of child who falls, pushing the object into soft palate).

-- To view the remaining sections of this topic, please or purchase a subscription --


Rosen, Peter, et al., editors. "Neck Trauma, Blunt, Anterior." 5-Minute Emergency Consult, 5th ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2016. Emergency Central, emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307037/all/Neck_Trauma__Blunt__Anterior.
Neck Trauma, Blunt, Anterior. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, et al, eds. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. 5th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307037/all/Neck_Trauma__Blunt__Anterior. Accessed April 25, 2019.
Neck Trauma, Blunt, Anterior. (2016). In Rosen, P., Shayne, P., Barkin, A. Z., Wolfe, R. E., Hayden, S. R., Barkin, R. M., & Schaider, J. J. (Eds.), 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Available from https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307037/all/Neck_Trauma__Blunt__Anterior
Neck Trauma, Blunt, Anterior [Internet]. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, Wolfe RE, Hayden SR, Barkin RM, Schaider JJ, editors. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. [cited 2019 April 25]. Available from: https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307037/all/Neck_Trauma__Blunt__Anterior.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Neck Trauma, Blunt, Anterior ID - 307037 ED - Rosen,Peter, ED - Shayne,Philip, ED - Barkin,Adam Z, ED - Wolfe,Richard E, ED - Hayden,Stephen R, ED - Barkin,Roger M, ED - Schaider,Jeffrey J, BT - 5-Minute Emergency Consult UR - https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307037/all/Neck_Trauma__Blunt__Anterior PB - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ET - 5 DB - Emergency Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -