Spinal abnormalities in young fast bowlers

J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1992 May;74(3):421-5. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.74B3.1587894.


The action of fast bowling in the game of cricket is known to cause injuries to the lumbar spine. We studied a group of 16- to 18-year-old fast bowlers, selected for special training in Western Australia. All 24 had MR scans of the spine, 22 had radiographs and CT scans; in 20 the bowling technique was analysed biomechanically. There was a high incidence of back pain and this was always associated with a radiological abnormality. Pars interarticularis defects were diagnosed in 54% and intervertebral disc degeneration in 63%. Bowling actions which involved counter-rotation were associated with a higher incidence of both injuries.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletic Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Intervertebral Disc / pathology
  • Lumbar Vertebrae* / diagnostic imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Spinal Injuries / diagnosis
  • Spinal Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed