Archive | December, 2010

Lockergate UPDATE video link

31 Dec

Last night in the #whateverthesponsoris Holiday Bowl, Jake Locker of the Washington Huskies took a hit, well actually three hits, to the head on a running play and in a matter of minutes he was up and ready to go.  In fact, when watching the action unfold Locker simply was helped to the sideline, sat down and didn’t talk to the medical staff, grabbed a helmet and stood there waiting to get back in.

If I am going to call out my profession on Sundays then I think we should note how this was handled and make adjustments in the future.

Situation (if you have seen it on TV bear with me), video via ESPN.com highlights, :25 mark of highlight;

Locker is running up field when he puts his head down and lunges for more yards.  As this is happening, he gets hit from seemingly every angle.  In regards to his head; a shoulder elbow first makes contact with it, then a knee helmet, then the ground.  His head was twisted, snapped back and thudded to the ground in about one second.  He then lay MOTIONLESS Continue reading

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NFL Concussion Report Week 17

31 Dec

The Concussion Blog Original, NFL Concussion Report, is a weekly compiling of the reported head injuries in the National Football League.  Concussions are added to the list each week from multiple sources to give you the reader a picture of what is happening on the field.  Each week we will bring you the list of players along with relevant statistics.  If we have missed a concussion or put one on here erroneously, let us know.

As we enter the last week of the regular season there was a barrage of concussions last week.  15 to be exact, surpassing the previous weekly high of 13 set Week 9.  The competition was much higher the past two weeks as the spots for the playoffs were being decided, perhaps that was a reason for the increase in concussions, as the players were taking chances they normally would not be taking early in the season.  Another reason could be the length of the season just taking its toll, as the sub-concussive forces have just added up and finally manifested themselves as a true concussion.  What ever the reason the rate has increased, and it will be interesting to see how this week unfolds, if there will be a significant drop due to less teams playing for something.

Some quick notes about this week; There is now only one team remaining that has not had a documented concussion, Tampa Bay…  A team has reached the double-digit mark in concussions, Carolina (10)…  Austin Collie is not the only player to be concussed multiple times, there have been many, and next week we should have that list for you…  161 total concussions since training camp opened, 153 in the regular season…  Larry Fitzgerald was not on the injury report for a concussion but he did report to the media that he sustained a concussion in Week 16... Now for your Week 17 stats… Continue reading

Another Neurocognitive Testing Battery

30 Dec

With the rise in concussion awareness, there has been more research being done to find tools to help identify both severity and return to normalcy.  The most highlighted neurocognitive test is ImPACT, however there are others out there.  Like most technology, it only gets better as each generation of tests come out. Neurocognitive testing is better today than it was just 2 years ago.

I recently had a webinar with CNS Vital Signs and Craig Fitzgerald to show me the “new” concussion spin off of their already proven research designed and supported Vital Signs, that many doctors, pharmaceutical, and clinics use on a daily basis for mental health issues/results.

Vital Signs is described by Mr. Fitzgerald;

The CNS VS assessment platforms have been used in busy clinics, as well, as global research initiatives, for most every neuropsychiatric condition. The advantage that CNS Vital Signs brings is our ability to deliver a research quality system to every clinician to help increase your practice efficiencies and depth of knowledge regarding a patient’s health status.

As I was allowed to tool around on the new Concussion platform, I was impressed with its relative ease.  Continue reading

The Winter Wednesdays

29 Dec

The football season is over in high school and will be completed soon in college and pro’s, however that does not mean the concussion risk is gone.  Yes, it will be reduced slightly, but awareness is continued and the importance of an athletic trainer is underscored more.  During the winter months we will spend time blogging about the life of an athletic trainer, what I do, and what we can do for schools.

Christmas Break, but for whom?

Being a high school athletic trainer there are a lot of people that think that when school is on break we get a break too, um wrong.  The sports are still going, practices are being held and kids continue to get hurt.  Granted the hours at the school are less but the responsibility remains the same and can be more difficult.

When school is not in, the structure of practices changes, coaches want to get in and get out on their time and they deserve that.  Due to this we may not get to every practice during this “break” and injuries occur.  When this happens the communication line between the athletic trainer and the coaches/parents is key.  Getting a phone call about an injury is not uncommon, and having to adjust whatever schedule you have made to accommodate the pressing issue can be difficult.  In a perfect world, regardless of profession, it would be GREAT if everyone else would work around you, but that is not going to happen.

Being flexible is a huge part of athletic training, not only with things like practice schedules, but dealing with coach expectations, doctors, parents and kids alike.  The best trait of an athletic trainer is being able to adapt to any and all situations in regards to injuries and safety.  We do it on a daily basis, with games/practices we have no idea what will be walking through the door next; perhaps a laceration to the arm or a strained calf or dislocated shoulder or a concussion.  Being ready is part of the job, and being ready for the unknown is what makes this job both exhilarating and stressful.  So when I get a call from the wrestling coach that his “star” wrestler has a knee injury Continue reading

Looking to Spend Some Holiday Cash?

29 Dec

Why not buy a book, a good book?

First of all, the fact that I am recommending a book will come as a shock to my mother, as she swears I don’t know how to read anything other than the internet and research.  Secondly, I am shocked that it took me this freaking long to get this out there.

Chris Nowinski of Sports Legacy Institute, and formerly of the WWE and a Harvard football player, wrote a book in 2006 that opened A LOT of eyes.  If you have not read it or heard of it, now is a good time to do so.

You can visit his website or go to Amazon.com and get it for your Kindle, “Head Games” is the title.

Concussion Concerns

28 Dec

Mary Shedden of Tampa Bay Online & msnbc.com has some thoughts on the concussion concern, and if it really is making a difference where it counts….the youth.

Unfortunately, that awareness hasn’t trickled down fast enough to the high school sidelines, where players and some coaches remain reluctant to report a possible head injury, says Jeff Konin, executive director of the Sports Medicine & Athletic Related Trauma (SMART) Institute at the University of South Florida.

Using this as the “problem” in Florida, Shedden goes on to trumpet the cause of athletic trainers at the high school level.  Having one at each school is becoming a necessity.  Although we STRONGLY agree with that statement, let us not forget that athletic trainers also provide an educational background to handle all sport-specific injuries.  It just so happens that this health care profession is also VERY proficient in identifying and managing concussions.

Shedden also notes that Florida, like other states, Continue reading

USA Today Article

28 Dec

Kelly Whiteside, writing for the USA Today, put together a great article discussing what we believe is the most important aspect of concussion recovery – return to school and academia.

Brianna is a typical high school athlete, not a future college star, just a kid whose life revolves around the sport of the season. Her story has become all too familiar. She was medically cleared to return to sports too soon and continued to take a full course load at school. The mental demands of the classroom slowed her recovery as well. Addressing the roomful of her peers on this November evening, Brianna describes what life has been like since suffering her first concussion in February when she took a knee to the head during a basketball game.

“It’s been nine months, and I still have headaches every single day I wake up. I don’t want to go to school. I barely get out of bed. My mom is constantly trying to get me up, and I just don’t want to get up. I’m late for school, which is no fun. I get really dizzy when I get up from a chair, and I am also tired all the time. I sleep for 16 hours, and I’m still exhausted.”

What is also typical of Brianna is that those that have been concussed across the nation are experiencing the same thing she is, but Continue reading

QB Delivers Concussion

27 Dec

Kerry Collins, QB for the Tennessee Titans, threw a ball out of bounds and hit starting defensive lineman William Hayes in the head.  Not too unusual, except for the fact that Hayes was diagnosed with a concussion afterward and did not return.  It has been that kind of season for the Titans.  LINK

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In other NFL QB news, it is being reported that Brett Favre has not passed his “first part” of the concussion test as of today, his status remains doubtful for the postponed game in Philly.  LINK

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Early reports have 6-7 concussions in the league during Week 16, can you say sesquicentenary mark?

NHL Concussion Report 12/27/10

27 Dec

This is the list of current players on the injured list for concussions or suspected head injuries (^=new);

  • Shaone Morrisonn, BUF
  • Raitis Ivanans, CAL
  • Peter Mueller, COL
  • Kyle Cumiskey, COL
  • Greg Mauldin, COL^
  • Nick Schultz, MIN
  • Matthew Lombardi, NAS
  • Bryce Salvador, NJ
  • Ian Laperriere, PHI
  • Kurt Sauer, PHX
  • David Perron, STL
  • Andy McDonald, STL
  • Tom Poti, WAS^

Two new addition this week that brings the total concussions to 42.  The NHL is generally about 36 games in, not even half way, the 73 of 2009-2010 is well on it way to being surpassed…

Successful Return

27 Dec

404 yards and four touchdowns later, Aaron Rodgers looked “pretty good” upon returning from his second concussion, I think that is successful.  There were a lot of people concerned about Rodgers returning because of the number of concussions he has sustained this year.  That concern is ill-founded according to the current management of concussions.

True the “old model” used to explain that a second concussion should disqualify a person for a month but as we explained previously research has gotten better since the 80’s and we are no longer concerned about the number of concussions, rather how the person recovers from each and every concussion, independent of the previous one.

According to the Green Bay Packers, Rodgers passed all tests and has been symptom free at rest and with activity for roughly 5 days.  That is more than enough to satisfy the most strict/conservative of policies.

A quick side note about players returning from concussions.  I have seen in the news that players are returning with a “safer” helmet, or “a helmet to prevent concussion”, most recent Aaron Rodgers.  The first point is that NO HELMET can prevent concussions, yet.  The second point is more an observation, the players have been returning with the Schutt DNA helmet, rather than the Riddell Revo Speed.  In most articles you will not see this mentioned, yet another side effect of the “official helmet of the NFL” policy, I believe.

Everyone have a good week!

Athletic Trainers for Christmas

24 Dec

Thanks to regular follower Mike Hopper for finding this gem from The Portland Press Herald in Portland, Maine.  Dr. James Glazer wrote an editorial about how all of Maine’s schools should have an athletic trainer, by simply writing Santa about his wishes.

All I want for Christmas this year is an athletic trainer for each of Maine’s high schools. I know it is a lot to ask, but I’ll explain why it is so important.

Put simply, for the thousands of Maine teenagers who play high school sports, an athletic trainer is the most essential piece of safety equipment. They’re more important than shin guards for soccer athletes, than mouth guards for hockey players, and even more important than helmets for football players.

Dr. Glazer promotes athletic trainers at all times and has an interesting perspective as to what we do on a daily basis;

Athletic trainers are some of the most hard-working people in our schools. They open up the training room hours before the athletes hit the field, and they stay long after the teams’ equipment has been put away. Most athletic trainers wouldn’t know what to do with themselves if they only had one thing going on at a time. Most can easily perform an entire evaluation with one athlete while taping three others, and at the same time keep tabs on the four basketball players rooting around in their desk for a snack.

I’ve never been around a training room that wasn’t a bustling hub of activity. Plenty of athletes come for treatment, but just as many are there to hang out. Athletic trainers, in addition to being great clinicians, usually chose their career because they genuinely care for the kids.

His direction and call for action is in the state of Maine, it applies to ALL states;

But as your school’s budget is being debated, think about this: When your son or daughter is at an away game, lying on a strange field in pain, frightened about an injury they just sustained, who do you want out there keeping them safe? In that situation, and in a thousand others all over Maine, there’s no substitute for an athletic trainer.

If you see more of these articles send it our way, not only do we bring concussion awareness but we are here to promote the health care professionals, athletic trainers.

Emotions and Concussions

24 Dec

Peter Sedesse a writer on Helum.com has written some good informative pieces on head injuries and concussions.  Here are the highlights of his most recent “How emotional functioning can be impacted by traumatic brain injury”;

One of the most confusing issues when dealing with traumatic brain injuries is the effect that it has on the individual’s personality and emotions… Continue reading

NFL Week 16 Concussion Report

24 Dec

The Concussion Blog Original, NFL Concussion Report, is a weekly compiling of the reported head injuries in the National Football League.  Concussions are added to the list each week from multiple sources to give you the reader a picture of what is happening on the field.  Each week we will bring you the list of players along with relevant statistics.  If we have missed a concussion or put one on here erroneously, let us know. Continue reading

Festivus Airing Of Grievances

23 Dec

Quickly Christmas Eve Eve is becoming one of my favorite holidays.  Today and every December 23rd is Festivus, and although it sprung from a Seinfeld episode, it has qualities that I really enjoy.  The best, in my opinion, is the Airing of Grievances and today we will do it as time warrants.  If you would like to do so as well just click on the comments and have at it.  If you want to remain anonymous in your Grievance you can send an email to theconcussionblog@comcast.net and I will post for you.  Only rules is it must be concussion related (including me/this site).

Here we go…

  • Rick Pitino – I don’t care what “context” you think or your PR people say you were using, being that backwards on the concussion issue makes me think you have had a few yourself.
  • James Harrison – The crown of your helmet causes major damage to others, why don’t you line up and catch a slant?
  • Mark Schlereth & other NFL’ers who minimize head injuries – True, it is part of the game, but education of how bad they can be is not a crime nor wrong, so maybe you should help out and not be a roadblock.
  • Gary Bettman – Stop with the cloak and dagger injury reports, enough already. Continue reading

‘Red Flag’ Interview

22 Dec

Glen Kulka is a former Canadian Football Player, WWE Wrestler, MMA Fighter and current father of two who did an interview with Chris Stevenson of the Barrie Examiner in Canada.

Glenn Kulka stopped counting his concussions when the number hit 16.

“What’s it matter after that?” wondered the former CFL defensive lineman, WWE wrestler, mixed martial arts fighter and radio host on the Team 1200 in Ottawa.

He has been keeping a close eye on all the research coming out on concussions in hopes that his future will be filled with memories of his kids doing the things he loved to do.

“I’ve got an eight-and a six-year-old I’m cooking dinner for right now. I wonder how long I’m going to be here and what my quality of life is going to be. Right now I’m sweating it. Continue reading

A High School Video

21 Dec

This video was created by a high school student for the CSPAN student cam contest.  I must say I am in awe of both the production and the content (other than the grading of concussions).  Well done; Brendan Byrne, Arthur Lane, Tony Andreini and Scott Gill.

Views are 193 as of this post.

ESPN The Mag Poll

21 Dec

4 is least concerned 1 is most concerned

If you have not seen it yet in your newest ESPN The Magazine or on the net here it is POLL, and there are some interesting results in there.  The poll was put together to get a sample of high school aged kids and their support group, coaches, parents and athletic trainers.  To be expected the players themselves seem to be on the “less concerned” side of things, while surprisingly the coaches are very cognizant and cautious with the concussion problem.

Very few coaches say they’d rather win with their concussed star, and parents and athletic trainers basically agree. “You’re risking the kid’s health,” says a Pennsylvania trainer. “Plus, if he has a concussion, his reaction time won’t be where it should be, so chances are good he’ll help lose the game.” Players, of course, see things quite differently. “We actually have a chance this year,” says an Oregon player. “We will all do whatever it takes to win.”

On the issue of a “headache” the coaches are on the sides of the athletic trainers.

As many respondents note, a headache can be symptomatic of everything from a contact lens issue to a sinus infection. But most also acknowledge what studies show: The No. 1 symptom of a concussion is headache, and players complaining of one should be held out until a clear diagnosis is reached. “If a player has a headache from a hard hit,” says a Minnesota athletic trainer, “it’s not okay to return.” Only the players believe a headache shouldn’t warrant a benching.

I took part in this survey and it was very well done for not being “scientific” and the results were what I expected to see.  I think this is a good launching point for a more in-depth project, breaking it down by region and state.  Although football is “king” when it comes to concussions, it would be good to see the general reflection of all athletes as well.  Good job by ESPN, go to the link to see all the results…

Editorial by Dawn Knight

21 Dec

Dawn Knight, an author who writes for the Washington Post, penned an editorial piece about concussions and how more needs to be done in the education aspect of this issue.  LINK to entire editorial from Washington Post.

I’m no expert, but I learned a lot about concussions after my son suffered a severe one during a rugby practice in August. People who have had concussions are not actually more susceptible to concussions, I discovered. However, if they are not fully healed and try to return, they are very likely to suffer another concussion – and a concussion on top of a concussion can be very dangerous…

It was scary to watch what the concussion did to him. For weeks he was a different person, often confused, unable to focus on school and enduring severe headaches and nausea. When he would start feeling better, he would try to catch up on school work, but that would lead to a headache and set him back again. He went in for an MRI and more evaluations, but they only indicated that he needed more time to recover. There was nothing we could do to hurry it along.

A great perspective to write from, and the ending of the article hammers home what we here have been saying all along about education;

Football players are going to get hurt – it’s the nature of the game, but head injuries cannot be taken lightly. The same set of requirements my son had to pass — evaluated independently of the team doctor — is a start. Beyond that, there needs to be an education program for the players and coaches about the long-term effects of concussions.

NFL Donating Nearly $1M

20 Dec

The NFL Charities announced today in their annual donations to groups that of its $1.6M, nearly $1M of that will go to groups studying the effects of concussions.  The groups getting the money will be studying youth concussions, brain cells, and dementia in NFL players, among other projects.

NFL.com story via AP

Rick Pitino = Concussion Fail

20 Dec

Looking for information about concussions to bring to this audience, I slipped across this article from Eamonn Brennan of ESPN.com’s College Nation Blog.  While writing about Louisville basketball Brennan commented on Pitino’s dismissive nature of concussions.

“It’s the seventeenth concussion we’ve had this year,” Pitino said. “I’ve been coaching now 35 years. I’ve seen maybe 5 concussions in 35 years. The new thing is everybody has a concussion. If you walk out and slightly brush the door, you have a concussion. That’s the way it is today.”

As Brennan stated in the article, and I agree with, this is what is wrong with the concussion issue at hand.  People, important and influential like Pitino, diminishing the issue.  Then Brennan commented on why it was bad form for him to do so;

…But concussions happen everywhere, in every sport, and they’re no less serious if they happen on the floor rather than the field.

In other words, it’s bad form to complain about the increased frequency of reported concussions. Would you complain that, “these days,” people wash their hands too much? Or that they wear their seatbelts too often?

Concussions aren’t happening more than ever. It’s just that we know about them now. As always, knowledge is a good thing. And, frankly, Pitino should know better.

Thank you Eamonn for writing about this and taking him to task a bit.  If Pitino really feels that secure in his assessment of concussions, then he should be part of the solution by helping out with research and filling out the information the University of Illinois is getting for long-term concussion issues.

NBA Concussion Report

20 Dec

It has been sometime since we have listed concussions from The Association.  And there are a couple of reasons for this, one; fewer players equals less incidence and two the reporting of injuries is up to beat writers as I have yet to find an official league injury page.  I will be using the standard CBSsports and ESPN for compiling this information.

  • Sasha Vuajcic, Lakers – 10/14/10
  • Carlos Delfino, Bucks – 11/29/10
  • Taj Gibson, Bulls – 12/20/10
  • Corey Maggette – 12/20/10

That is all we have for now, if you get information about an NBA concussion send it our way via email theconcussionblog@comcast.net.

NHL Concussion Report 12/12/10 UPDATED

20 Dec

This is the list of current players on the injured list for concussions or suspected head injuries (^=new);

  • Shaone Morrisonn, BUF
  • Raitis Ivanans, CAL
  • Viktor Stalberg, CHI^
  • Peter Mueller, COL
  • Kyle Cumiskey, COL
  • Nick Schultz, MIN^
  • Matthew Lombardi, NAS
  • Bryce Salvador, NJ
  • Derek Boogaard, NYR^
  • Ian Laperriere, PHI
  • Kurt Sauer, PHX
  • David Perron, STL
  • Andy McDonald, STL

Two new addition this week that brings the total concussions to 40 thus far.  The addition of Boogaard is based on reports from the New York Post via this blog post.  Again another shining example of how concussions are missed/not reported in the NHL.  Too many “undisclosed” or “upper body” listings.  Maybe the NHL should look at this to uncover the real story?

UPDATE 12/22: Viktor Stalberg was outed in a local media report in Chicago.  Case in point.

Another Group To Study Brains

20 Dec

Dr. Charles Tator of Toronto Western Hospital in Canada is beginning the process to study brains for lasting effects of head injuries.  The study will not be unlike what Boston University is doing in conjunction with Sports Legacy Institute.  Dr. Tator is trying to focus his study on the hockey community as he feels that it has been under-studied in this sport.

A similar project at Boston University has been focusing largely on football, examining 17 brains of former NFLers and one NHLer, Reggie Fleming, revealing CTE is a degenerative disease similar to Alzheimer’s. It can lead to personality changes and dementia.

Interestingly, the first brain donated to the Toronto Western study is that of former Canadian Football League player Jay Roberts.

Tator said he is hoping that as players learn of this study, they will donate their brains so that those following behind will benefit from the information gleaned from the study.

St. Catharines Standard STORY

This is also a good time to recognize what they are doing north of the border by developing ThinkFirst, a concussion education and prevention programe (I threw the ‘e’ in there for the Canadians).  Good work ‘eh, keep it coming!

Austin Collie Debrief UPDATE #6

19 Dec

Upon tweeting about Collie’s 3rd concussion some confusion was abound due to his actual number of concussions.  Here is how I see it, and yes concussions SHOULD be black and white;

  • Collie was concussed on 11/07 at Philly
  • Collie sat out Week 10 game vs. Cincinnati
  • Collie returned in Week 11 vs. the Patriots, then was removed from the game due to “worsening symptoms” LINK
  • Collie was out Weeks 12-14
  • Collie returns Week 15 and again gets a concussion (Not his 2nd)

NFL “Policy” indicates that a player will not return from a concussion unless they pass all tests.  Therefore if Indianapolis followed the “policy” then Collie was cleared and passed all tests by Week 11, and his first concussion resolved.  The reports of more/worsening symptoms after 1st half of Pats game indicates that he MUST have sustained a second concussion.  Then upon returning this week that would have meant that he cleared all tests and AGAIN sustained a concussion, his THIRD.  Continue reading

Week 15… Concussion Watch…

19 Dec

So this week there are some interesting concussions that were worth watching, Rodgers, Eric Smith and Austin Collie.  The last is the most interesting coming off multiple concussions and now returning.

He scored a TD early and it was noticed by @injuryexpert and others that he was wearing a shaded eye shield.  According to @injuryexpert (Will Carroll) he is wearing that because of continued sensitivity to light.  Full recovery of concussion includes not returning until ALL symptoms have resolved.  If he was not sensitive to light before the injuries, wouldn’t he still have symptoms?  I would think so.

It will be interesting to see how the media, Colts and Collie handle this situation.

=========================1:21p

And that is why playing with multiple concussions is dangerous, get up Austin!  A very mundane looking head bouncing off turf…  Glad he got up…

=========================1:38p

Austin Collie listed as concussion, now his THIRD of the year…  Get well soon…

UPDATE: see new post above.

=========================2:41p

Two Cowboys lost to concussion today…  http://sports.espn.go.com/dallas/nfl/news/story?id=5936131&campaign=rss&source=NFLHeadlines

Thanks sportsconcussions.org

=========================10:12p

According to this blog post, and you include the return specialist Connolly of the Patriots that would be 8 thus far this week…

 

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