Lumbar spine injuries in athletes

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✓Lumbar spine injuries in athletes are not uncommon and usually take the form of a mild muscle strain or sprain. More severe injuries sustained by athletes include disc herniations, spondylolistheses, and various types of fracture. The recognition and management of these injuries in athletes involve the additional consideration that to return to play, the lumbar spine must be able to withstand forces similar to those that were injurious. The authors consider common lumbar spine injuries in athletes and discuss management principles for neurosurgeons that are relevant to this population.

Abbreviations used in this paper:MR = magnetic resonance; ROM = range of motion; SPECT = single-photon emission computed tomography.

✓Lumbar spine injuries in athletes are not uncommon and usually take the form of a mild muscle strain or sprain. More severe injuries sustained by athletes include disc herniations, spondylolistheses, and various types of fracture. The recognition and management of these injuries in athletes involve the additional consideration that to return to play, the lumbar spine must be able to withstand forces similar to those that were injurious. The authors consider common lumbar spine injuries in athletes and discuss management principles for neurosurgeons that are relevant to this population.

Abbreviations used in this paper:MR = magnetic resonance; ROM = range of motion; SPECT = single-photon emission computed tomography.

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Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Arthur L. Day, M.D., Department of Neurosurgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02115. email: aday1@partners.org.
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