Rugby injuries to the cervical spine and spinal cord: A 10-year review
A 10-year review (1987-1996) of injuries sustained to the spine and spinal cord in rugby players with resultant paralysis has been undertaken. This article reviews that the incidence of serious rugby spine and spinal cord injuries in South Africa has increased over the 10-year period reviewed, despite stringent new rules instituted in an attempt to decrease the incidence of these injuries. The mechanisms of injury, as previously reported, remain the same as well as the phases of game responsible for injury of the tight scrum, tackle, rucks, and mauls. Two new observations are reported: the first is related to the occurrence of spinal cord concussion with transient paralysis, and the second is related to the increased incidence of osteoarthritis of the cervical spine in rugby players.