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WHIPLASH INJURIES IN SPORTS ACTIVITIES. CLINICAL OUTCOME AND BIOMECHANICS
  1. Pantelis Tsoumpos1,
  2. Kostas Kafchitsas2,
  3. Hans-Joachim Wilke3,
  4. Kostas Evaνgelou1,
  5. Alkis Kallivokas1,
  6. Bjoern Habermann2,
  7. Elias Tsepis4,
  8. Evdokia Bilis4,
  9. Charalampos Matzaroglou1,4
  1. 1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Patras, Greece
  2. 2 Department of Muscoloskeletal Disorders, University of Mainz, Germany
  3. 3 Institute for Orthopaedic Research and Biomechanics, University of Ulm, Germany
  4. 4 Department of Physiotherapy, ATEI Patras, Hellas

Abstract

Background Cervical whiplash syndrome, or hyperextension-hyperflexion injury, is a common traumatic injury in sports activities. The mechanisms of injury that cause cervical whiplash syndrome vary, but they may be sufficient enough to cause chronic whiplash syndrome.

Methods and Patients Over 150 injuries were recorded in sports in our Orthopaedic Departments between the years of 2008 and 2011. Whiplash spine injuries have been reported in most contact sports, including indoor soccer, basketball, and wrestling, and in several non contact sports, such as diving. Whiplash spine injuries are estimated to occur in high percentage of indoor soccer players, and most commonly on defensive players. Injury usually is secondary to high-velocity collisions between players, causing acceleration or deceleration of the head on the neck. Acceleration usually causes a whiplash type of extension force on the neck, while deceleration usually results in flexion forces.

Results Serious injuries with neurologic sequelae remain infrequent in our series, and most of these injuries are self-limited. Quality of life assessment with Euro Quol and Sleep quality tools, in our series, suggest that there is no practical difference with healthy control group normalized regarding to sex, age, socioeconomic status and marital status after six months from initial trauma.

Discussion/Conclusions Our study shows that there is a significant risk of whiplash type injuries in sports, especially indoor soccer. But serious injuries with neurologic sequelae and Chronic Whiplash Associated Disorders (WAD) remain very infrequent.

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