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Management guidelines for athletic injuries to the cervical spine.

The potential or actual involvement of the nervous system in injuries to the cervical spine requires that management must proceed with particular care. Prevention of further injury is the main objective. Proper management must begin with the removal of the athlete from the field, and the correct procedures for doing this are reviewed. Treatment procedures for the following injuries are discussed: (1) nerve root and brachial plexus neurapraxia; (2) acute cervical sprain syndrome; (3) cervical vertebral subluxation without fracture; (4) cervical fractures and dislocations; (5) cervical spinal cord neurapraxia with transient quadriplegia; and (6) cervical spinal instability. Also, guidelines for activity restrictions are presented.

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