Boxing, MMA and Spinal Injuries

Boxing, MMA and Spinal Injuries

Boxing, MMA and Spinal Injuries

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While it is well known that boxers  can suffer brain injuries from repetitive contact,  spine injuries can also occur during the boxing match.

For boxers who develop neck pain after a match,  often times,  it is attributed to sprains and strains of the neck.  But if there is no rapid resolution of symptoms,  a screening x-ray can be helpful in identifying a potential instability condition such as Os Odontoideum.

Os Odontoideum is the term used to describe a non-union of the C1-C2 anterior bodies.   Normally,  during fetal development,  these bones naturally fuse togethe to form the axis of the spine.  The axis allow the head  to rotate around the neck,  without causing a dislocation,  While it is still not completely known how these Os Odontoideum develop,  theories include a congenital (you were born like that) basis,  or secondary to a fracture of the C1 and C2  areas during early childhood.

For people who have an Os Odontoideum,  they are susceptible to developing a castastrophic neurologic injury secondary to potential instability of the spine.  For Boxers,  the forces delivered to the head can cause a prior asymptomatic problem to become dramatically evident.  Not too long ago,  some debated whether  boxers should have screening of the neck.

For boxers with normal spine anatomy,  there are still concerns regarding the forces impacted on the skull,  and potential to cause injury to the ligaments and disks of the spine  (especially the neck).   While the use of gloves and head gear can dampen the forces experienced by the structures,   the forces generated can be significant enough to cause structural injury to the spine.

Most Ring Side Physicians are trained to look for neurologic changes of the boxers.  While often times,  the changes are secondary to brain concussion,  the physicians must always consider a spinal cause of complaints.

This past Saturday,  we watched a fight  between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor.  While the fighters put on a great match,  the forces applied to their spines were significant.

Citations

  • Bartsch AJ, Benzel EC, Miele VJ, Morr DR, Prakash V. Boxing and mixed martial arts: preliminary traumatic neuromechanical injury risk analyses from laboratory impact dosage data. J Neurosurg. 2012 May;116(5):1070-80. PubMed PMID: 22313361

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Author and Contributor to www.Spine-Health.com – July, 2015

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Chief of Surgery, Mease Countryside and Mease Dunedin Hospitals, Safety Harbor and Dunedin, Florida. 2014-2016.

Orthopaedic Section Chief Mease Countryside Hospital; Safety Harbor, Florida Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.2008-2013

Board Member Morton Plant Mease Research Council

Co-Director of Mease Neuro-Ortho Spine Center Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.

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2014 Spine Specialists to know list – September 2014

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The information provided on this website does not provide or should be considered medical advice. It is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment of any condition. The information provided is for informational purposes only. You should not rely solely on the information provided on this website in making a decision to pursue a specific treatment or advice. You should consult directly with a professional healthcare provider.

As a condition of using the information on this website, ShimSpine and its physicians are not responsible for any advice, diagnosis, treatment or outcome you may obtain.

ShimSpine.com is completely self-funded. No outside funds are accepted or used. This website does not utilize paid advertising as a source of revenue.
Outpatient Spine Surgery Considerations. www.Spine-Health.com. January 2016.

What is Spinal Stenosis? www.Spine-Health.com. October 2015.

Surgeon insights on the Changing Landscape of Orthopedic Care. OrthopedicToday. June 2014

Chapter 33: Interspinous Spacers. Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

Chapter 35: Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Lumbar Fusion Technique.Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

March 2010 Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting New Orleans, Louisiana February 2010

February 2010 A Review of Dynamic Stabilization in the Lumbar Spine Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

November 2009 Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Community Based Lecture; Tampa, Florida

September 2009 Instructor/Proctor Minimally Invasive Lumbar Cadaver Lab; Tampa, Florida

February 2009 New Spinal Technology: Cervical Disc Replacement and Interspinous Spacers. Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

February 2008 The Degenerative Spine: The Role of Dynamic Lumbar Stablization and Interspinous Spacers Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

October 2008 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

September 2007 Emerging Technology in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

October 2006 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

May 2005 The Role of Kyphoplasty in the Treatment of Vertebral Compression Fractures Mease Neurosciences Symposium; Clearwater, Florida
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