Joyo (braver_creature) wrote in little_details,

Gunshot wound to face exits through neck: long term effects, medical jargon, avoiding paralysis?

I am writing a fic where one of the characters was shot in the face in-canon, but survived.  The entry wound was towards the base of the left cheekbone, and as far as anyone can tell it crossed left-to-right at a diagonal and exited through the back of the neck, somewhere between the Axis and C3 vertebra of the cervical spine.

The gun was probably a glock 22 or 23, and was fired from ~20 yards (maybe more?) through a pane of glass at least an inch thick.

The exit wound is off-center, but it's hard to tell how far to the side of the spine it is.  I was looking at this 3-D model of the cervical spine, and it looks like it would be near-impossible for the bullet not to have at *least* grazed one of the vertebra:

More stuff I found on cervical spinal fracture/injury: ,

This has all been very useful, but there are specific details I'm having trouble finding.  I know it's possible to injure or fracture the spine without (major) paralysis, so assuming a "best case scenario":

is there a way a gunshot wound like this could hit a vertebra (possibly fracture it) without causing major paralysis?  I mean, quadra/parapalegia, total loss of limb function.  What kind of fracture would most likely happen if a bullet "grazed" the side of the Axis or C3, and given all the other nerves in the area, what kind of long term damage to motor function and such would you expect?

How long would these injuries keep someone in the hospital, and what would the recovery procedures be like?  I'm guessing immobilizing the neck with a halo/brace, reconstructive surgery for the face/jaw, probably physiotherapy after things had healed enough.

I've been able to find some research-based speculation specific to this character, but the bullet path they have goes through the brain, which just looks unlikely to me: (yeah hey big surprise on the character and fandom woo).

I've also looked at the source *they* link to, but I'm having trouble finding stuff on such a specific situation, and the rehab of it.

Thank you!
Tags: ~medicine: injuries: gunshot wounds, ~medicine: injuries: head injuries

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