Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Real-time data recorded on football player captures impact that caused broken neck

Date:
July 25, 2011
Source:
University of Michigan
Summary:
While studying concussions in a high school football team, researchers captured the impact of an 18-year-old player who broke his neck during a head-down tackle in real-time.

While studying concussions in a high school football team, researchers captured the impact of an 18-year-old player who broke his neck during a head-down tackle in real-time.

Steven Broglio, an assistant professor in the University of Michigan School of Kinesiology, studies concussive impacts. His lab is the high school football field. The injured student in the study in Illinois healed and was cleared 12 weeks later to play basketball, Broglio said.

Though other researchers have captured concussion impact data in humans, this is believed to be the first time these data have been captured for a spinal fracture. The data appears July 20 in a letter in the New England Journal of Medicine.

It is rare for a high school or college student to suffer a broken neck; the bigger, more common problem in youth athletics is concussion. However, most of the media attention and research has focused on professional sports, Broglio said.

"To us, the larger public health issue is with the 1.5 million high school kids that play football each year. Not the 1,500 that play in the NFL," Broglio said.

The student-athletes in Broglio's study wear helmets outfitted with padded sensors called the Head Impact Telemetry System. The HITS uses the same type of sensor that activates a car air bag and wirelessly transmits the location and magnitude of that impact to a sideline computer 10-20 seconds later.

Eventually, Broglio would like to see a similar system used as diagnostic tool to record linear acceleration, rotational acceleration and impact location on every athletic field.

"Ultimately, we're trying to use these measures to predict concussion," Broglio said. "If someone exceeds a certain level then we would know they have a concussion and we could pull them." Broglio stresses that this technology is years away from becoming a reality.

In this particular player's case, it was obvious that something serious had occurred, Broglio said. However, the impact he sustained wasn't as hard as others have sustained in the four-year study who weren't concussed.

Researchers suspect each athlete's body reacts differently to impact, but the average for concussion is about the same across high school, college, and professional. A concussion occurs at roughly 90 to 100 g-force, "which is like smashing your head against a wall at 20 mph," Broglio said. The shuttle launch is about 3 g-force; a rolling fighter pilot about 5-10 g-force.

Broglio also found that a high school football player takes about 652 impacts over a 12-13 week season. "I challenge you to find a parent who will tell their kid to bang their head against the wall 652 times in 12 weeks," Broglio said. "It's an interesting way to think about it."

In the 120,000 impacts recorded over four years at Unity High School in Illinois, 25 were concussions and one a broken neck. Broglio was recently approved to continue the study at Skyline High School in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Co-authors include: Erik Swartz, University of New Hampshire; Joseph Crisco, Brown University; and Dr. Robert Cantu, Emerson Hospital.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Steven P. Broglio, Erik E. Swartz, Joseph J. Crisco, Robert C. Cantu. In Vivo Biomechanical Measurements of a Football Player's C6 Spine Fracture. New England Journal of Medicine, 2011; 365 (3): 279 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMc1102689

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan. "Real-time data recorded on football player captures impact that caused broken neck." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110720210700.htm>.
University of Michigan. (2011, July 25). Real-time data recorded on football player captures impact that caused broken neck. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110720210700.htm
University of Michigan. "Real-time data recorded on football player captures impact that caused broken neck." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110720210700.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

More Coverage


Researchers Capture Breakthrough Data on Cervical Spine Injuries

July 26, 2011 A high school football player's broken neck -- from which he's recovered -- has yielded breakthrough biomechanical data on cervical spine injuries that could ultimately affect safety and ... read more
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins