Degenerative spondyloarthropathy of the cervical and lumbar spine in jockeys

Orthopedics. 2001 Jun;24(6):561-4. doi: 10.3928/0147-7447-20010601-12.


This prospective study analyzed the long-term effects of horse riding on the cervical and lumbar spine of jockeys. Thirty-two jockeys were observed for 13 years. All jockeys had clinical and radiographic evaluation of the spine; three consecutive age groups were studied. Results were compared to age-matched, normal population control groups. The incidence of degenerative changes of the spine was higher in the jockeys compared with the control groups and was more prominent in the older age group for both the lumbar and cervical spine. These findings suggest that equestrian sports, particularly professional horse riding, apart from the increased risk of direct spinal injury caused by a fall from the horse, can lead to progressive spine degeneration as a result of repetitive trauma and increased physical stress on the spine.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / etiology*
  • Cervical Vertebrae / injuries*
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / injuries*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Spinal Diseases / etiology*
  • Spinal Injuries / etiology
  • Sports*