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Mechanism of Injury

A committee of representatives from the NFL Team Physicians Society and the NFL Athletic Trainers Society, NFL equipment managers, and scientific experts in the area of traumatic brain injury recently investigated the location and direction of helmet impacts in the NFL using sophisticated acquisition of high-speed video impact data and biomechanical reconstruction to determine impact […]

Current Controversies-Initial Radiographic Imaging

On transport to the emergency room, the initial imaging modality to evaluate the cervical spine is plain-film radiography.

Both the NCAA and the Inter-Association Task Force for Appropriate Care of the Spine-Injured Athlete have recommended that initial radiographs be obtained with the helmet and shoulder pads in place (but with the face mask removed). After […]

Management of Cervical Spine Injuries-Scenario 3: Normal Mental Status without Cardiorespiratory Compromise

The most common clinical scenario encountered by the sports medicine physician is the athlete with normal mental status and without cardiorespiratory compromise. Catastrophic cervical spine injury, however, can still occur in this scenario often insidiously.

After the primary survey, a neurologic assessment should be performed. Catastrophic cervical trauma should be assumed in the player with […]

Management of Cervical Spine Injuries-Scenario 2: Altered Mental Status without Cardiorespiratory Compromise

Care of the cervical spine in the collision athlete with altered mental status presents a challenging problem for the sports medicine physician. After a rapid primary survey, a brief neurological assessment is performed to determine the athlete’s level of consciousness.

Important aspects of the on-field neurological examination include assessment of mental status (i.e., Glasgow Coma […]

Management of Cervical Spine Injuries-Scenario 1: Cardiorespiratory Compromise

Life-threatening alteration of cardiopulmonary function is a rare event in the collision sport athlete. Respiratory distress from obstruction of the airway can result by a foreign body, facial fractures, or direct injury to the trachea or larynx. The ability to maintain airway patency also can be lost secondary to a depressed level of consciousness.

In […]

Pregame Planning

Personnel and staff who are responsible for the care of athletes need to ensure that necessary pre-event planning and preparations are accomplished. These tasks may be summarized as follows:

(a) establish a protocol for prehospital care of the injured athlete,

(b) organize all necessary equipment for on-field management, and

(c) select a hospital system for […]