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Current Thinking: Return to Play and Transient Quadriplegia

Cantu, Robert V. MD*; Cantu, Robert C. MD, FACS, FACSM

Current Sports Medicine Reports: February 2005 - Volume 4 - Issue 1 - p 27–32
doi: 10.1097/01.CSMR.0000306068.21649.da

Athletes that participate in contact and collision sports assume risk of serious injury each time they take the field. For those athletes that have sustained an episode of tran-sient quadriplegia, the decision of whether to return to competition can be a difficult one. Some athletes, realizing how close they may have come to permanent injury, may decide that further participation is not in their best interest. Others may be somewhat undecided, and some may want to return at all costs. As the treating physician, the goal is to identify those athletes who after a single episode of transient quadriplegia are at increased risk for further injury and consequently should discontinue participation in contact sports. Factors that may contribute to that determination include mechanism of injury, prior history of neurologic symptoms or injury, and anatomic features that may predispose to further injury such as disc herniation, fracture, or cervical stenosis.

Address *Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, One Medical Center Drive, Lebanon NH 03755, USA. E-mail: Robert.V.Cantu@Hitchcock.Org

© 2005 American College of Sports Medicine