Sports Injuries: Kin 3K03
Acute vs. Chronic Injury
-acute injury is something that suddenly happens while chronic injury starts with acute and becomes more
problematic over time. Every tissue has a failure point (moment of anatomical failure).
Understanding the Mechanism of Injury (MOI)
-axial load usually has a modifier (Ex. Playing rugby and you get pile driven into the ground; there is a
considerable axial load forcing the neck into hyper-flexion (i.e. modifier)
a) Muscle and Ligament can be damaged by hyper-flexion.
b) Discs injury associated with hyper-flexion, compression and rotation. Discs weakest on back side.
c) Bony Vertebrae and ZA joints can be REALLY catastrophic
-superior view of L4
Transverse Process (TP)
Spinous Process (SP)
-most exposed part; therefore most prone to contusions.
-risk of catastrophic injury. Carries most of the weight, base of tripod.
Body of Vertebra
-difficult to fracture
-most catastrophic injuries take place in the cervical spine because the most vital actions are performed here
(i.e. eating, breathing)
-bone is smaller compared to lumbar, therefore much easier to break. Also its great range of motion puts it at
-spinal cord is thicker in the cervical spine meaning there is less buffer room (cord doesn’t have room to
-well protected by muscle, potential for problem is damage to the
vertebral artery which runs through the foramen within TP. Two vertebral
arteries run through Circle of Willis which provides blood flow to brain.
Injury here can cause major bleeding.
-prone to contusion (bruising)
-in cervical spine it carries more weight than ZA joint in lumbar spine.
Much easier to fracture with axial load.
Body of Vertebra
Types of Fractures Sports Injuries: Kin 3K03
o collapse of vertebral body due to physical trauma or weakening of the vertebra
- weakening seen with patients that have osteoporosis or conditions that begin a
degenerative process at an early age (ex. Anorexia)
o traumatic spinal injury in which a vertebra breaks from a high-energy axial load
- Ex. car accidents, traumatic falls from great height or speed
o can cause long term neurological damage; looks like vertebra exploded
- severity is recognized by: severity of deformity, severity of spinal canal compromise,
degree of loss of vertebral body height, degree of neurologic deficit
o spinous or transverse; least catastrophic (HYPEREXTENSION)
- somehow the bones rip apart, results from rotation or extreme sideways bending; usually
doesn’t affect stability
o referred to as avulsion fractures
- fragment of bone tears away from main mass of bone via muscle, ligament, tendon
Factors Affecting Fractures
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