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Football Tops In Neck Injuries

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U.S.-style football sends more athletes to emergency rooms for neck injuries than ice hockey or soccer, according to a new study.

In the British Journal of Sports Medicine, Canadian researchers tallied U.S. emergency room visits for neck injuries in the 1990s. They cross-referenced that information with yearly participation figures for each of the three sports.

Here are the estimated numbers of neck injuries per sport from 1990-1999:

  • Football: 114,706 neck injuries
  • Soccer: 19,341 neck injuries
  • Ice hockey: 5,038 neck injuries

Specific Neck Injury Statistics

Football led in all neck injuries, from minor cuts and scrapes to more severe injuries including neck fractures and dislocations, says the study.

Most of the injuries were not severe. Here are the details for each sport:

  • Football: 104,483 neck contusions, sprains, or strains; 1,588 neck fractures or dislocations; and 621 neck lacerations.
  • Soccer: 17,927 neck contusions, sprains, or strains; 214 neck fractures or dislocations; and 0 neck lacerations.
  • Ice hockey: 4,964 neck contusions, sprains, or strains; 105 neck fractures or dislocations; and 199 neck lacerations.