spear tackler's spine


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spear tackler’s spine

Injury to the cervical spine resulting from players using their heads as a primary point of impact with their opponents’ bodies in contact sports such as football or soccer. This condition is considered an absolute contraindication to participation in contact sports in which high-energy axial loads may be applied to the cervical spine because it markedly heightens the risk of nerve injury or paralysis. Spear tackler’s spine is based on four criteria identified by Joseph Torg: 1. developmental stenosis of the cervical vertebral canal; 2. loss of the normal lordotic cervical curvature; 3. roentgenographic evidence of post-traumatic abnormalities of the cervical spine; and 4. a history of axial loads delivered to the cervical spine.