Rugby injuries of the upper cervical spine. Case reports

S Afr Med J. 1983 Sep 17;64(12):456-8.


Fractures and dislocations of the upper cervical spine (atlas and axis) differ markedly from those of the lower cervical spine (C3 - C7) because of the unique anatomy and function of these two vertebrae. Case reports of 4 rugby players who sustained serious injuries of the upper cervical spine are presented. The role of the high tackle in causing these injuries is described and the association of head and upper cervical spinal trauma is emphasized. The radiological management of the player with suspected injury is outlined.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Athletic Injuries / etiology*
  • Cervical Vertebrae / injuries*
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnostic imaging
  • Fractures, Bone / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Joint Dislocations / diagnostic imaging
  • Joint Dislocations / etiology*
  • Male
  • Radiography