Cervical disk injuries in athletes
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Cervical disk injuries are defined as a cervical injury associated with neurological deficits, radicular symptoms, or radiological evidence of disk degeneration, but not with a fracture or a dislocation of the cervical spine. Thirty cases covering the period from July 1982 to June 1984 were analyzed, and the following findings are presented. Fifty percent of the injuries were sustained in American football. Sixty percent of radicular signs and symptoms were from the fourth and fifth cervical root. The roentgenographic changes were most common at the fourth and fifth intervertebral disk spaces. Most of the cases responded satisfactorily to a simple cervical collar and cervical traction. The athletes who presented radicular signs and symptoms required 5 months to return to full sports activities, and 60% of these had some residual symptoms after completion of treatment. The athletes who had a block vertebra of the cervical spine were not suited for contact sports. Recognition of the seriousness of cervical disk injuries in athletes is emphasized.
KeywordsCervical Spine Neurological Deficit Intervertebral Disk Sport Activity Disk Degeneration
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