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Catastrophic Spine Injuries in Sports

Boden, Barry P. MD*; Prior, Chris DO

Current Sports Medicine Reports: February 2005 - Volume 4 - Issue 1 - p 45–49
doi: 10.1097/01.CSMR.0000306071.44520.f9

Catastrophic spine injuries in sports are rare but tragic events. The sports with the highest risk of catastrophic spinal injuries are football, ice hockey, wrestling, diving, skiing and snowboarding, rugby, cheerleading, and baseball. A common mechanism of injury for all at-risk sports is an axial compression force to the top of the head with the neck slightly flexed. We review common mechanisms of injury and prevention strategies for spine injuries in the at-risk sports.

Address *The Orthopaedic Center, 9711 Medical Center Drive, #201, Rockville, MD 20850, USA. E-mail:

© 2005 American College of Sports Medicine