Spinal cord concussion in rugby players

Scher A.T. (1991)


During an analysis of a group of 40 rugby players who had sustained cervical spinal cord injury, 9 players were identified who had sustained only transient paralysis. These players showed no radiologic evidence of any injury to the cervical spine. We did a retrospective analysis of the clinical and radiological findings in this group of rugby players. The cervical spine radiographs were analyzed for evidence of spinal stenosis, congenital anomalies, and degenerative disk disease. Using the ratio method of assessment for spinal stenosis, we found spinal canal narrowing maximally at C-3 and C-4 in five of the nine players. In the remaining four players, one showed evidence of osteoarthritic change at two levels while another had congenital fusion of two vertebral bodies. In two players, no radiologic evidence of any abnormality was detected. The mechanism of transient disturbance of the spinal cord function after trauma is discussed here.

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