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Contact Sports Celebs with Back and Neck Injuries

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Gainesville, FLIf there is one thing in common amongst athletes that play contact sports, it's back and neck injury. Recently, baseball (not a contact sport but plenty of ops for injury) player Chris Sciambra, football player Marcus Roberson and hockey player James Reimer all suffered neck injuries. They were all done for the season—and they have all, fortunately, made comebacks.

Back and neck injuries could have kept them away from sports permanently.

Given back and neck injury statistics, the chances that the above athletes all suffered neck injury in such a short space of time is not surprising. In 2009, about 14,390 neck fractures were treated at US hospital emergency rooms, and of these, 2,692 were sports-related, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Sports-related neck injuries are usually debilitating, from whiplash to the most severe spinal cord injury. And anyone involved in a sport that involves violent physical contact, including football, rugby and wrestling, is at risk of neck fracture. Add baseball to that list.

Although Sciambra walked off the field after he fell, X-rays showed a non-displaced fracture in the C-1 vertebrae in the neck area. His spinal column was unaffected but he will miss the rest of the season.

Roberson was given four to six weeks to recover, but after spending six weeks in a very hard plastic, stationary brace, he then spent another six weeks in a less restrictive brace. "Any time you deal in the head and the neck, football's over as far as I'm concerned," said Will Muschamp, Roberson's coach. "It was a very, very serious issue. All very healable as far as the medical process is concerned, it just takes time."

Time does heal some injuries. Roberson appears to be out of the woods and out of his neck brace. According to Muschamp, Florida's doctors and training staff have cleared him for non-contact work this spring, and he is confident that Roberson will make a full recovery.

Sciambra will have to wear a neck brace for the next three months, but like Roberson, he is lucky. "[Sciambra was close to a more serious injury," said coach Paul Mainieri.]

As for James Reimer's injury (he took an elbow to the head last October and suffered concussion-like symptoms), last week, a Montreal specialist gave him good news: he won't require surgery to treat his neck issue.

Reimer is indeed fortunate. In many cases, neck and back injury patients can make a full recovery and not lose any neurological function. Of course it helps to have the best medical treatment. But a neck injury, specifically neck fracture, can also lead to some degree of paralysis or even death.

Professional athletes have funds in place should an accident happen. If you have suffered a back and/or neck injury from playing sports or any accident, however, an experienced attorney can advise you whether or not you have the right to claim compensation.

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READER COMMENTS

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I WAS TOLD BY NUROSURGEON AND PAIM MANAGE DOCTORS THIS YEAR THAT AT SOME POINT I HAD BROKEN MY NECK,,,,I AM 53 YEARS YOUNG AND I REMEMBER FOOTBALL 1975 BE CURSED AT AND TOLD IF DID NOT HIT THE OPPOSING MAN AND HIT HIM WITH MY HEAD HITTNG IN THE NUMBERS,,,,THAT ORDER WAS GIVEN TO ALL OF THE BOYS AWAITIG IN LINE I DID WHAT HE SAID ,,WHICH I REMEMBER IT HURTING NOT ONLY MY NECK BUT MY ARMS WENT NUMB ALSO THE BREATH WAS KNOCK OUT OFF ME ,,,,AND LOOKINK UP WAS IMPOSIBLE CAUSE PAST A CERTAIN POINT I HAD NO CONTROL OF ME HEAD WOULD FALL BACK AND I HAD TO TAKE MY HANDS AND PICK MY HEAD BACK TO NORMAL POSTION ...I ASKED COACH TO SEND ME TOO DOCTOR THE NEVER DID ,,,AND I MISS A FEW PRACTICES,,, IT WAS SUMMER AN WE WHERE OUT OF SCHOOL I SLEPT FAT ON MY BACK WITH NO PILLOW ,,,IT HEALED OVER THE SUMMER AND I WHORE A NECK RING FROM THEN ON,,,I PLAYED FOOTBALL ,,,,HAD SEVERAL MORE INJURIES ,,,COACH ALWAYS SAID SUCK IT UP YOU P#@&IES ,,,I PLAYED 1972-73/THRU 1975-76,,,ITS PROBABLY TO LONG AGO ,,,BUT I WAS A MINOR[ KID ] AT THE TIME

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