Neurosurgical Emergencies in Sports Neurology

Vin Shen Ban, James A. Botros, Christopher J. Madden, H. Hunt Batjer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Athletic neurosurgical emergencies are injuries that can lead to mortality or significant morbidity and require immediate recognition and treatment. This review article discusses the epidemiology of sports-related traumatic brain injury (TBI) with an attempt to quantify the incidence of neurosurgical emergencies in sports. Emergencies such as intracranial hemorrhage, second impact syndrome, vascular injuries, and seizures are discussed. Recent Findings: The incidence of sports-related TBI presenting to level I or II trauma centers in the USA is about 10 in 100,000 population per year. About 14 % of the adult sports-related TBIs and 13 % of the pediatric sports-related TBIs were moderate or severe in nature. Patients presenting with headache and neck pain should prompt further investigation for cervical spine and vascular injuries. CT angiography is becoming the modality of choice to screen for blunt cerebrovascular injuries. The treatment of these injuries remains controversial. Summary: High-quality evidence in sports-related TBI is lacking. Further research is required to help guide management of this increasingly prevalent condition. The role of prevention and education should also not be underestimated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number55
JournalCurrent pain and headache reports
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Neurosurgical emergencies
  • Second impact syndrome
  • Sports-related TBI
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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