ORIGINAL ARTICLE: PDF OnlyCantu Robert C.; Mueller, Frederick O.Journal of Spinal Disorders: September 1990 - p 227-231 Buy Abstract Summary Funded by the National Collegiate Athletes Association, the purpose of the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research is to reduce catastrophic injuries of the head and neck by analyzing the epidemiologic and medical data, and then recommending appropriate rules, conditioning, and medical changes. Catastrophic cervical spine injuries are defined as those that result in spinal cord injury. All cases result in disability. Deaths are excluded from this report. A total of 128 players incurred permanent cervical cord injuries from 1977 through 1989. Defensive players are at greater risk for quadriplegia than offensive players are, and most are injured while tackling. To further reduce catastrophic spine injuries, players must stop using the head as a battering ram, and use the shoulder for blocking and tackling instead. Other recommendations for reducing catastrophic spine injuries are presented. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.