ABSTRACT Objective: To collect data from patients with cervical fracture who were treated surgically in a tertiary health service, in order to better understand the current scenario of this kind of injury in our population. Methods: This retrospective survey examined consecutive cases of patients with cervical spine trauma who received surgical treatment during 2013 and 2014. The data were subjected to descriptive statistical analysis. Results: Fifty-two patients were treated with surgery during 2013 and 2014. All patients classified as Frankel A and B developed respiratory failure. Patients classified as Frankel A, B, and C had significantly higher rates for postoperative complications (p < 0.01) than patients classified as Frankel D and E, except for the rate of postoperative infections (p = 0.717). Hospitalization time was also longer in the first group (p < 0.01). Conclusion: Patients with cervical trauma who present with neurological deficit at hospital admission should receive special attention, since the rate of postoperative complications is higher and hospital stays are lengthier in this group. In addition, patients with Frankel A and B classification should be monitored in an intensive care unit. Level of Evidence III; Retrospective comparative study.