Cervical trauma in sports

Alpesh A. Patel, Brett Taylor*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cervical spine injuries, although uncommon, may occur with sporting activities. Symptoms can vary considerably: from transient peripheral nerve injury (aka 'burner') to complete, permanent cord injury. Although typically associated with contact sports, a high level of suspicion should be maintained for all athletes with symptoms. Clinical assessment begins at the time of injury with thorough clinical and radiographic evaluation. Surgical treatment and rehabilitation decisions are based upon the patient's symptoms as well as underlying pathoanatomy. Principal factors in determining return to play include patient symptoms, duration of symptoms, recurrence of symptoms, cause of symptoms, residual neurologic deficit, and the athlete's desire to return to competitive sports.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-94
Number of pages4
JournalSeminars in Spine Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2005


  • Burner
  • Cervical spine
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Sports

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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