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Cycling Common Cause of Sports-Linked Traumatic Spinal Injury

Last Updated: August 24, 2021.

TUESDAY, Aug. 24, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Sports-related traumatic spinal injury (TSI) mainly occurs in men, with cycling injuries the most frequent mechanism of injury, according to a study published online Aug. 24 in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine.

Blake M. Hauser, from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of adults with a sports-related TSI, including spinal fractures and spinal cord injuries (SCIs). A total of 12,031 cases of TSI were included (82 percent male; median age, 48 years).

The researchers found that the most frequent mechanisms of injury were cycling injuries, skiing and snowboarding accidents, aquatic sports injuries, and contact sports (81, 12, 3, and 3 percent, respectively). During initial hospitalization, 9.1 percent of patients with TSI required spinal surgery. Fifteen percent of cases with TSI had SCI. Within sports-related TSIs, the rate of SCI was 13, 41, and 49 percent for cycling injuries, contact sports, and aquatic sports injuries, respectively. Length of stay was longer for patients experiencing SCI (7.0 days longer), and they had a higher likelihood of adverse discharge disposition (adjusted odds ratio, 9.69).

"Cycling injuries comprised the majority of sports-related TSIs; improving policies and education regarding cyclist safety would probably prove to be effective interventions," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the medical device industry.

Abstract/Full Text

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