Document Detail

Cervical neurapraxia in elite athletes: evaluation and surgical treatment. Report of five cases.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17436927     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECT: Neurapraxia, transient posttraumatic paralysis of the motor and/or sensory tracts in the spinal cord, may be a career-ending event in an athlete. Management, rehabilitation, and return-to-play decisions remain controversial. METHODS: Five elite football players were evaluated after experiencing episodes of neurapraxia. All patients experienced bilateral paresthesias--three in all four extremities and two in the upper extremities--lasting a few minutes to more than 24 hours. Transient motor deficits occurred in two individuals but caused no permanent sequelae. Neuroimaging confirmed the presence of herniated discs, focal cord compression, and no parenchymal changes in all cases. All patients underwent anterior cervical microdiscectomy and fusion, and cervical plates were placed in four. After aggressive rehabilitation and confirmation of fusion ranging from 9 weeks to 8 months postoperatively, the players were allowed to return to active play. Two of the players developed recurrent career-ending disc herniations, one above and the other below the fusion level. One player required repeated spinal cord decompression. CONCLUSIONS: Neurologically intact athletes with focal cord compression due to a single-level herniated disc may safely return to football after undergoing decompressive surgery and confirmation of fusion. It appears, however, that there may be an increased chance of repeated herniation above or below a fused level.
Joseph C Maroon; Hikmat El-Kadi; Adnan A Abla; Daniel A Wecht; Jeffrey Bost; John Norwig; Tim Bream
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of neurosurgery. Spine     Volume:  6     ISSN:  1547-5654     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2007 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-04-17     Completed Date:  2007-05-15     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101223545     Medline TA:  J Neurosurg Spine     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  356-63     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Neurosurgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine-Presbyterian Hospital, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Athletic Injuries / complications,  pathology,  surgery*
Football / injuries*
Guidelines as Topic
Intervertebral Disk Displacement / etiology,  pathology,  surgery
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Paresthesia / etiology,  pathology,  surgery
Quadriplegia / etiology,  pathology,  surgery
Recovery of Function
Recurrence / prevention & control
Spinal Cord Compression / etiology,  pathology,  surgery
Spinal Cord Injuries / etiology,  pathology,  surgery*
Spinal Fusion*
Comment In:
J Neurosurg Spine. 2007 Apr;6(4):354-5; discussion 355   [PMID:  17436926 ]

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