Cervical spinal cord neurapraxia is a common sports-related injury. It is defined as a transient neurological deficit following trauma localizing to the cervical spinal cord and can be caused by hyperextension, hyperflexion, or axial load mechanisms.
Symptoms usually last less than 15 minutes, but can persist up to 48 hours in adults and as long as 5 days in children. While a strong causal relationship exists between cervical spine stenosis and cervical cord neurapraxia in adult patients, this association has not been observed in children. Likewise, while repeated episodes of neurapraxia can be commonplace in adult patients, recurrences have not been reported in the pediatric population. Treatment is usually supportive, but in adults with focal cervical lesions or instability, surgery is an option.
The pediatric spine, in contrast, has increased mobility, predisposing the spinal cord to contact with bony elements even in absence of focal stenosis.
Surgery for neurapraxia in children is rarely indicated 1).