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Paraplegia secondary to fracture-subluxation of the thoracic spine sustained playing rugby union football
  1. A J Walsh,
  2. S Shine,
  3. F McManus
  1. Orthopaedic Surgery, Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to:
 A J Walsh
 Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Orthopaedic Surgery, 289 Sutton Park, Sutton, Dublin 13, Republic of Ireland;


Fractures of the spinal column during rugby matches of all codes are rare but catastrophic, especially when associated with spinal cord injury. The cervical spine is vulnerable during trauma to the head and neck in contact sports. Spinal injuries reported during rugby matches have almost exclusively involved the cervical region, often with neurological sequelae. This is the first reported case of paraplegia caused by a fracture-dislocation of the thoracic spine resulting from a low velocity rugby union injury.

  • rugby
  • thoracic fracture
  • spinal cord
  • paraplegia

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