We prospectively determined the risk of initial stinger experience in a group of college football players while considering the presence of cervical canal stenosis and each player's position, playing time, and body type. Prospective analysis revealed a 7.7% incidence of initial stinger experience. The average Torg ratio for all players was 0.924 +/- 0.122, with the seventh cervical level being the narrowest. Initial stinger experience depended on position played and body type. The Torg ratio did not influence initial stinger occurrence. Players who experienced multiple stingers, however, had significantly smaller Torg ratios than players experiencing only one stinger (0.75 versus 0.87). A Torg ratio of 0.70 may be a more statistically and clinically appropriate threshold for determining significant cervical stenosis and advising collegiate athletes of their risk of experiencing recurrent stingers.
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