For a  descriptive epidemiology study, the researchers sought to look at the epidemiology of neck and cervical spine injuries in college athletes over the course of 5 years. In recent years, the prevalence and causation of neck and cervical spine injuries in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) athletes have been poorly described. The NCAA Injury Surveillance Program database was used to determine the frequency and characteristics of the neck and cervical spine injuries. Injury rates were derived by dividing the number of injuries by the total number of athlete-exposures (AEs). Any student participating in one NCAA-sanctioned practice or competition was considered an AE. Over a 5-year period, there were an estimated 11,510 neck and cervical spine injuries in the United States. At a rate of 7.05 per 100,000 athlete-exposures, this happened (AEs). Neck and cervical spine injuries were reported at a rate of 2.66 per 100,000 AEs in men and 1.95 per 100,000 AEs in women. In sex-matched sports, men were 1.36 times more likely than women to sustain a neck or cervical spine injury. The sports with the greatest injury rates were men’s football (29.09 per 100,000 AEs) and women’s field hockey (11.51 per 100,000 AEs). When comparable to practice, these injuries were 3.94 times more likely to occur during competition. Injury rates for the season were the highest, with 8.18 per 100,000 AEs. The majority of NCAA athletes’ neck and cervical spine injuries are mild and infrequent. The bulk of injuries in both sexes was new and happened during in-season events across all sports. The majority of sportsmen were able to return to play within 24 hours after their injuries. Players, parents, coaches, athletic trainers, and physicians can use the information to learn about the prevalence and rates of various injuries, as well as make decisions about injury prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation.

 

Link:journals.lww.com/spinejournal/Abstract/2020/01010/Neck_and_Cervical_Spine_Injuries_in_National.14.aspx