Comparison of Cervical Angle during Different Equipment Removal Techniques Used In Ice Hockey for Suspected Cervical Injuries
The purpose of the study was to compare cervical movement between two different methods of removal of the helmet and shoulder pads. Seven college age male subjects (height: 172.54 ± 7.98 cm; weight: 85.70 ± 15.75 kg) with hockey experience volunteered to participate in the study. Each subject agreed to and signed the institutional review board approved informed consent before articipation. Subjects used their own game fit hockey helmet and were fitted with a pair of shoulder pads (CCM Tacks 1052 Sr Shoulder Pads). Cervical spine motion was measured using 3D kinematics (Vicon Motion Systems Ltd., UK). Reflective markers affixed to the manubrium, both Anterior Superior Iliac Spine (ASIS), and a custom mouthpiece were used to track the change in cervical angle during two different methods of equipment removal: 1) supine, and 2) semi-fowler techniques. Cervical flexion-extension angle was calculated as the angle between the segment defined by the mouthpiece marker and manubrium and the segment between the manubrium and ASIS. The maximum cervical angle was identified and the average cervical angle from the moment shoulder pad removal began to when the pads were removed was calculated. Cervical angle was normalized to the static angle (i.e., before equipment removal began). A paired t-test was used to compare maximum cervical angle between the two conditions. A paired t-test was also used to compare average cervical angle between the two conditions (α=0.05). Maximum cervical angle was not different between supine removal (17.69±7.79 degrees) and semi-fowler removal (15.18±3.77 degrees) techniques (p=0.37). Average cervical angle was not different between supine removal (3.66±1.50 degrees) and semi-fowler removal (4.63±2.80 degrees) techniques (p=0.47). Cervical angle was similar between removal techniques.