The FOX TV station in Phoenix spotlights a driver who got into a car wreck where “her head was completely separated from the spine.” They’re calling it “internal decapitation.” So what happened and what is it?!
Well we know the concept of whiplash, where if the body is hit, the head falls back and forth – imagine those football hits (think physics). Imagine a hit so severe (in this case, with a car accident), that the head bends all the way back (or forth) that the joint between the skull and the spine (atlanto-occipital joint) separates: you have your skull separated from your spine.
Wikipedia explains this is very rare, and usually fatal. Interestingly it is also the idea behind hangings in those ancient times. Hangings would use the weight of the condemned to separate that joint. Again usually fatal. This lady had excellent care in the field and in the hospital to survive this trauma!
- Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_decapitation
- FOX TV article – http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/story/19629216/2012/09/24/woman-survives-internal-decapitation