4 doctors weighed in:

Can a slipped disc or herniated disk in your neck kill you?

4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mihir Patel
Internal Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: It can't

Can't kill you but it can definitely cause weakness and numbness; sometimes severe dysfunction

In brief: It can't

Can't kill you but it can definitely cause weakness and numbness; sometimes severe dysfunction
Dr. Mihir Patel
Dr. Mihir Patel
Thank
Dr. Cynthia Archer
Internal Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Potentially

If you have enough cord compression above c3 or higher, or if you have an anatomical abnormality where the brain stem or cerebellar tonsils are partially outside of the skull.
It's rare, but that is how some football players die on the field. That is also why some are adamantly against chiropractic neck adjustments.

In brief: Potentially

If you have enough cord compression above c3 or higher, or if you have an anatomical abnormality where the brain stem or cerebellar tonsils are partially outside of the skull.
It's rare, but that is how some football players die on the field. That is also why some are adamantly against chiropractic neck adjustments.
Dr. Cynthia Archer
Dr. Cynthia Archer
Thank
4 comments
Dr. David Dinhofer
Sorry, I beg to differ. For a life threatening injury to occur, there would have be more than a herniated disk. There is more space at the upper levels and therefore more room for disk material if it herniated into the spinal canal. Major injuries at this level would be due to a fracture.
Dr. Cynthia Archer
I agree, but did you actually read my answer?
Dr. David Dinhofer
Radiology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: No

A slipped disc or herniated disc can press on the spinal cord or a nerve but will not put enough pressure on the spinal cord to interfere with the respiratory function.
You would need to have a significant neck injury in order to do enough damage to interfere with breathing.

In brief: No

A slipped disc or herniated disc can press on the spinal cord or a nerve but will not put enough pressure on the spinal cord to interfere with the respiratory function.
You would need to have a significant neck injury in order to do enough damage to interfere with breathing.
Dr. David Dinhofer
Dr. David Dinhofer
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Cynthia Archer
I agree with Dr. Dinhofer, a disc bulge or herniation at the level of C4 or higher would not result in life threatening injury by itself, another anatomical issue or injury would also need to be present.
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