We reviewed 41 patients over the age of 65 years (mean 76.5) who had suffered cervical spine injuries, 12 of them with neurological deficit. Eleven patients died during treatment, mostly from respiratory disease. Seven patients were treated by surgical stabilisation, five by halo traction, and the rest by rigid collars or halo-vests. The cervical injury was missed at the first examination in four patients. We conclude that most injuries can be treated by a rigid collar, and that the use of a halo-vest or surgical stabilisation are effective alternatives. Bed rest and traction are poorly tolerated by old people. There should be a high index of suspicion that any elderly patient who presents with a history of a fall or minor trauma may have a cervical spine injury.