When celebrations go wrong: A case series of injuries after celebrating in sports

Academic Article


  • BACKGROUND: Athletes often engage in various celebration maneuvers during sports events. These celebrations can result in acute injuries. Our objective was to document publicized injuries in collegiate and professional athletes resulting from celebrations and examine associated variables. METHODS: A retrospective case series study was performed based on internet searches performed using the following major sporting news websites: espn.com, SI.com, bleacherreport.com, totalprosports.com, cbssports.com, larrybrownspots.com, nfl.com, and mlb.com and PubMed. Keywords used during these searches included "celebration injury", "score celebration", and "surgery after celebration". These same sources were used to document the sport, athlete's age at time of injury, celebration action, type of injury, previous play, and whether surgery was required. RESULTS: A total of 62 athletes sustained 62 injuries resulting from various types of celebrations. All but two athletes were males, and the average age was 26.5 years old. The injuries occurred between 1993 and 2015. Sixteen (25.8%) of these injuries required surgery. Professional soccer players accounted for the greatest number of these injuries with a total of 22 injuries. One celebration in a professional soccer player resulted in a cervical spinal cord injury and subsequent death. Common celebration maneuvers included leaping into the air, pile ups, sliding, and somersaults. CONCLUSIONS: Serious injuries occur in a diversity of sports after celebrations. The most prevalent celebration maneuvers resulting in injuries included sliding and pile ups. The most common injuries were ACL ruptures and ankle sprains. The most serious injuries were a spinal cord injury and ankle fractures. Sixteen (25.8%) of the injuries required surgery. By encouraging athletes to temper excessive celebrations and prohibiting certain types of celebrations, many injuries may be prevented.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Momaya A; Read C; Estes R
  • Start Page

  • 267
  • End Page

  • 271
  • Volume

  • 57
  • Issue

  • 3