SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1987

Cervical Spinal Cord Injuries Caused by Skiing


While the number of spinal cord injuries in sports accidents is small, the severity of such injuries makes their treatment important. In this article, two cases are discussed. Case 1, a 25-year-old male with four years skiing experience, was trying to avoid another skier who crossed his path on a steep slope. He fell forward, struck his head, and his neck was bent forward. After initial loss of consciousness, he felt numbness in both upper and lower limbs. On X-ray examination, fracture of the body of the fifth cervical vertebra and anterior dislocation of the fourth cervical vertebra was found. Pain continued however, and instability between the fourth and fifth cervical vertebrae was found to be the cause. An anterior cervical fusion operation between the fourth and fifth vertebrae was performed. The patient recovered completely. Case 2, a 34-year-old male with 24-years skiing experience, was skiing in new snow when his ski struck a tree stump. He pitched forward, head first, forcing his neck into a hyper-extended position. Immediately after the accident, he had paralysis of both upper and lower limbs. No fracture could be found on X-ray examination and paralysis continued.

Author Information

Hirakawa, H
Higashi Nagano National Hospital, Nagano City, Nagano Prefecture, Japan
Oda, T
Higashi Nagano National Hospital, Nagano City, Nagano Prefecture, Japan
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Developed by Committee: F27
Pages: 314–319
DOI: 10.1520/STP23199S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5003-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0936-0