2001 年 50 巻 1 号 p. 97-104
The purpose of this study is to investigate the degenerative change of the cervical spine in American football (AF) players. The subjects were 27 collegiate AF players who had an annual radiological examination of the cervical spine. X-ray films of the lateral view were read by digital scanner and the anterior and posterior height of each spine (C 3-C 6) was measured. The subjects were divided into two groups based on experience of AF in high school (inexperienced and experienced) or the position played (lines and backs) .
Although the anterior height did not change from the first grade to fourth grade, the posterior height of C 4, C 5 and C6 significantly increased (P <0.05) . The experienced group showed a faster increase in the rate of posterior height than the inexperienced group. Also, the backs group showed a faster increase in the rate of posterior height than the lines group. The increased posterior height, which sometimes includes bony spur, results in kyphotic change of cervical alignment and impingement of the cervical nerve root. The faster growth rate in experienced or backs groups suggests that higher mechanical stress to the cervical spine and younger start of AF caused degeneration.