oa South African Journal of Sports Medicine - Rugby injuries of the cervical spine and spinal cord - has the situation improved?

Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1015-5163
  • E-ISSN: 2078-516X



Paralysis due to injury of the cervical spinal cord in rugby players, is a subject of great concern. Since the publication of previous reports on these injuries, considerable attention has been paid to amending the rules governing rugby and improving the standard of refereeing. In an attempt to assess whether these measures have reduced the incidence of injury or altered the type of injury sustained, an analysis of injured rugby players admitted to the Spinal Cord Injury Centre at Conradie Hospital during the period 1981 to 1987 has been made. Results of this study indicate that there has been no decrease in the incidence of these serious injuries. The scrum and tackle remain the most important cause of injury. Foul play, in particular the high tackle remains an important and avoidable cause of injury.

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