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AAOS: Football Is Leading Cause of Cervical Injury in U.S.

Incidence of injuries in males was 1.7 and 3.6 times greater than for females for neck sprains, fractures

TUESDAY, March 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Men have increased incidence of cervical sprains and fractures associated with sports, with football the most common cause of sprains and cycling the most common cause of fractures in males, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, held from March 6 to 10 in New Orleans.

John DePasse, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon in Providence, R.I., and colleagues queried the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database for neck sprains and cervical fractures associated with sporting activities from 2000 to 2015.

The researchers identified 27,546 patients with neck injuries sustained during sport, representing 26,380 neck sprains and 1,166 fractures. Per million person-years, the estimated injury incidence was 191.5 neck sprains and 7.7 fractures. The incidence for injuries in males was 1.7 and 3.6 times greater than for females for neck sprains and fractures (both P < 0.0001). The most common cause of cervical sprains in males was football, followed by cycling and weightlifting/aerobics. Most neck sprains were sustained by females in weightlifting/aerobics, trampoline, and cheerleading. From 2000 to 2015, there were increases in the incidence of neck sprains from aerobics (15.5 to 25.3 per million person-years), and increases in the incidence of cervical fractures from sport (6.5 to 8.8 per million), especially from cycling (0.67 to 2.7 per million).

“Football is the leading cause of cervical injury in the United States, although the majority of injuries are sprains,” the authors write.

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