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Stingers Merrill Reese and Dr Shah

St Mary Reese Football Report

Shah Scrubs SmallBy Nirav K. Shah, MD, FACS

It's no secret to my family, my patients, or fellow Eagles fans, that I'm a huge football fan. I'm also a neurosurgeon with a special interest in concussions and football injuries. That's why I'm pleased to be a regular guest on WBCB's Eagles Pro Football Report with Merrill Reese.

It provides an opportunity to reach a large audience of Eagles fans like me and give medical insights into what football injury reports actually mean as well as to discuss high school sports.

In this recent interview with Merril he asks "Let talk about "Stingers". What does it actually mean?" Listen to the podcast below.

What is a Stinger to a Football Player?

Merrill Reese - Dr. Shah I've heard that term a stinger before. What is the medical definition of a stinger, and can it limit a player from coming back into a game?

Dr. Shah - that's a really good question and they are quite frequent in football, when and neck gets extended or flexed very violently. What happens is that as the action occurs, the spinal cord tends to jiggle around in the spinal canal, and that hits the bones and causes an electrical shock feeling and a weakness which we refer to as a stinger as a result of the spinal cord being irritated. Fortunately this is not a true spinal cord injury and often they are manifested with some mild weakness and pain and will resolve within a few seconds. In that situation the player can resume the field of play once they are evaluated by the training staff. Symptoms that persist more than five to 10 minutes are more worrisome and would require a higher level of care. Here at Princeton brain and spine we do see a fair number of stingers neck pain and herniated discs, and very commonly we do allow these athletes to go back but it's very important to get the advice of a professional.

Dr Nirav Shah Media & Print

LastUpdate: 2017-09-13 14:01:11


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