Subaxial cervical spine injuries are common, ranging in severity from minor ligamentous strain or spinous process fracture to complete fracture-dislocation with bone and ligament failure, resulting in severe spinal cord injury. Understanding the epidemiology, anatomy, biomechanics, and classification of subaxial cervical spine injuries is important. Emergent management of such injuries is based on obtaining an accurate clinical history, careful physical examination, and organized radiographic evaluation. Attaining a unified approach to the wide spectrum of subaxial cervical injuries is difficult. In addition, controversy exists regarding the safety of closed reduction in certain injury patterns and the administration of methylprednisolone for acute spinal cord injury. Definitive management (surgical or nonsurgical) is based on the assessment of the mechanical instability of the injury, the presence or absence of neurologic impairment, and various patient factors that may influence outcome. Several complications, including the deterioration of neurologic status, may occur with either surgical or nonsurgical management, but the most frequent mistake made is missing the injury on initial evaluation.