Monday, October 18, 2010

In football, a mistake may be catastrophic

Lest we forget, football is a dangerous game. Most injuries in football like all other sports are a result of a mistake. If injuries are to be prevented, the mistakes must be identified and then eliminated. Eric LeGrand from Rutgers University, unfortunately made the mistake of lowering his head during a kick-off during the 4th quarter of a game against Army. This mistake resulted in the axial loading of the cervical spine and in his case resulting in catastrophic damage to the 3rd and 4th cervical vertebrae. When the cervical spine is straightened by lowering the head, it turns into a segmented column. Axial loading through this segmented column may then result in displacement of one or more vertebra, which in turn damages the spine. New York Times published a thorough article illustrating Eric LeGrand’s injury and then follow up with an article referring to Adam Taliaferro’s cervical spine injury while playing football at Penn State in 2000.

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