09-04-2001, 01:14 AM
• Schmitt H and Gerner HJ (2001). Paralysis from sport and diving accidents. Clin J Sport Med. 11 (1): 17-22. Summary: OBJECTIVE: To examine the causes of sport-related spinal cord injuries that developed into paraplegia or tetraplegia, and to compare data from different sports with previous studies in the same geographical region. DESIGN: A retrospective epidemiological study and comparison with previous studies. SETTING: The Orthopedic Department, specializing in the treatment and rehabilitation of paralyzed patients, at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. PARTICIPANTS: Between 1985 and 1997, 1,016 cases of traumatic spinal cord injury presented at the Orthopedic Department at the University of Heidelberg: 6.8% were caused by sport and 7.7% by diving accidents. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Sport-related spinal cord injuries with paralysis. RESULTS: A total of 1.016 cases of traumatic spinal cord injury were reviewed. Of these, 14.5% were caused by sport accidents (n = 69) or diving accidents (n = 78). Age of patients ranged from 9 to 52 years. 83% were male. 77% of the patients developed tetraplegia, and 23%, paraplegia. 16 of the sport accidents resulted from downhill skiing, 9 resulted from horseback riding, 7 from modern air sports, 6 from gymnastics, 5 from trampolining, and 26 from other sports. Previous analyses had revealed that paraplegia had mainly occurred from gymnastics, trampolining, or high diving accidents. More recently, however, the number of serious spinal injuries caused by risk- filled sports such as hang gliding and paragliding has significantly increased (p = 0.095), as it has for horseback riding and skiing. Examinations have shown that all patients who were involved in diving accidents developed tetraplegia. An analysis of injury from specific sports is still under way. CONCLUSIONS: Analysis of accidents resulting in damage to the spinal cord in respect to different sports shows that sports that have become popular during the last 10 years show an increasing risk of injury. Modern air sports hold the most injuries. Injury-preventing strategies also are presented. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/htbin-post/Entrez/query?db=m&form=6&dopt=r&uid=11176141> Abteilung Orthopadie I, Orthopadische Universitatsklinik, Heidelberg, Germany.