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Neck injuries presenting to emergency departments in the United States from 1990 to 1999 for ice hockey, soccer, and American football
  1. J S Delaney1,
  2. A Al-Kashmiri2
  1. 1McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  2. 2McGill University Royal College Emergency Medicine Residency Training Program
  1. Correspondence to:
 J S Delaney
 McGill Sport Medicine Clinic, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2W 1S4;


Objective: To examine the number and rate of neck injuries in the community as a whole for ice hockey, soccer, and American football by analysing data from patients presenting to emergency departments in the United States from 1990 to 1999.

Methods: Data compiled for the US Consumer Product Safety Commission were used to generate estimates for the total number of neck injuries and the more specific diagnoses of neck fractures, dislocations, contusions, sprains, strains, and lacerations occurring nationally from 1990 to 1999. These data were combined with yearly participation figures to generate rates of injury presenting to emergency departments for each sport.

Results: There were an estimated 5038 neck injuries from ice hockey, 19 341 from soccer, and 114 706 from American football. These could be broken down as follows: 4964 contusions, sprains, or strains from ice hockey, 17 927 from soccer, and 104 483 from football; 105 neck fractures or dislocations from ice hockey, 214 from soccer, and 1588 from football; 199 neck lacerations for ice hockey, 0 for soccer, and 621 for football. The rates for total neck injuries and combined neck contusions, sprains, or strains were higher for football than for ice hockey or soccer in all years for which data were available.

Conclusion: The rate of neck injury in the United States was higher in football than in ice hockey or soccer in the time period studied.

  • CPSC, Consumer Product Safety Commission
  • ED, emergency department
  • NEISS, National Electronic Injury Surveillance System
  • SBRnet, Sports Business Research Network
  • neck injuries
  • emergency department
  • ice hockey
  • soccer
  • American football

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  • Competing interests: none declared

  • Ethics approval: the institutional review board of the host institution excluded this study from undergoing application of approval for human research.

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