Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Injuries of the spine sustained in rugby.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 288 doi: (Published 07 January 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;288:37
  1. J R Silver


    Between 1952 and 1982, 67 rugby players (63 rugby union, two rugby league, and two American football) sustained serious injuries of their spine. The injuries fell predominantly on the lower cervical spine. Forty eight of the players sustained serious injuries of the spinal cord, leading to paralysis and total incapacity. The incidence of such injuries appears to have increased in recent years, particularly those incurred in tackles and mauls and rucks, and particularly among schoolboys. Changes in the laws of the game and in the attitudes of the players over the past few years should improve play and lead to a lower incidence of injuries.