BMJ Case Reports 2017; doi:10.1136/bcr-2017-220260
  • Global health

Catastrophic cervical spinal injury in an amateur college wrestler

  1. Simanchal P Mohanty2
  1. 1Department of Orthopaedics, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka, India
  2. 2Department of Orthopaedics, Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jayakrishnan Kelamangalathu Narayana Kurup, jkdoctorjk{at}
  • Accepted 28 June 2017
  • Published 18 July 2017


A young amateur wrestler presented with a burst fracture of the seventh cervical vertebra with complete paraplegia. He was treated with surgery for spine stabilisation and was actively rehabilitated. Adolescents and teenagers are indulging in high-contact sports like wrestling, without proper training and technical know-how, which can lead to severe injuries and possibly, permanent handicap or death. Trainers, assistants and institutions should be well equipped to diagnose and provide initial care of people with a spinal injury to prevent a partial injury from progressing to complete injury. Athletes, coaches and the public should be aware of methods of first aid and how to transport a patient with a cervical spine injury. Authorities should take steps to improve infrastructures in training institutions and ambulance services. Specialised spinal centres should be established throughout the country for management and rehabilitation of patients with paraplegia.


  • Contributors All authors contributed to conception and design of the paper. JKNK acquired the data and drafted the article. RJ acquired the data. SPM corrected the final manuscript, and gave final approval of the version to be published.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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