National Center for Catastrophic Injury Research




Annual Survey of Football Injury Research

Catastrophic Football Injuries

Catastrophic Sport Injury Research 25th Annual Report

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Data Tables

Definitions of Injury



Catastrophic Injury

Sport injury that resulted in a brain or spinal cord injury or skull or spinal fracture.

Complete Neurological Recovery

No disability results from the injury.

Direct Injury

Those injuries which resulted directly from participation in the skills of the sport.



Incomplete Neurological Recovery

Disability results from the injury.

Indirect Injury

Those injuries which were caused by systemic failure as a result of exertion while participating in a sport activity or by a complication which was secondary to a non-fatal injury.

Non-Fatal Injury

Permanent severe functional disability results from the injury.

Serious Injury

No permanent functional disability but severe injury (example: a fractured vertebra with no paralysis).