Cervical and Thoracic Spine Injuries

  • Pierre d’HemecourtEmail author
  • Jessica Flynn Deede
Part of the Contemporary Pediatric and Adolescent Sports Medicine book series (PASM)


Acute cervical and thoracic spine injuries in sports range from mild sprains to fracture dislocations with catastrophic consequences. Serious acute cervical and thoracic spine injuries in youth sports are rare but are seen with greater frequency in certain sports such as football, hockey, and gymnastics. Timely diagnosis and treatment of acute cervical and thoracic injury are essential. Overuse injuries to the cervical and thoracic spine are seen in noncontact sports and can result in spinal deformity and adult pattern injury. Understanding when an athlete can safely return to play after an acute cervical or thoracic spine injury is necessary to prevent secondary injury. This chapter covers common acute and overuse cervical and thoracic spine injuries in youth sports, with a focus on clinical and radiographic diagnosis, acute management of the injury, and return-to-play guidelines.


Cervical spine Thoracic spine Fracture Sprain Neurologic injury Return to play 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Sports MedicineBoston Children’s HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryLahey Hospital and Medical CenterBurlingtonUSA

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