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James D. Carson M.d. Dip. Sport Med.
09-24-1995, 04:10 AM
I have been searching the internet over the past 10 days requesting
feedback about spinal cord hockey injuries. I have also posted a "SAVE YOUR
NECK" item for the public on usenet in order to assess how useful it would
be to disseminate our research findings that way or via a WWW site.

I will be writing a research paper in the next month about the continued
saga of catastrophic neck injuries suffered while playing hockey. We really
didn't see many of these until 1980, however since then we have documented
about 15 each year. Several theories have arisen but no evidence has come
forth as to the exact etiology or reason for this trend. Perhaps its bigger,
faster players with better equipment who thus play the game with no fear.
Checking from behind, causing axial loading as the helmetted head strikes
the inflexible boards is a significant factor.

I wonder if others may have an analogy from another sport where improved
equipment caused an apparent change in the injury pattern. We know of
several articles written about football and the rule changes to prevent
injuries. However what are your thoughts about this invincibility factor? Is
there a biomechanical etiology that we have not considered?

Another part of our study will deal with the dissemination of our findings.
Despite considerable same day media frenzy and a government board set up, we
still are seeing the same number of injuries each year. Obviously the
message is not being delivered to the players. I'd welcome any comments or
references. Thank you.