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Refreshing Words From an Athlete

24 Apr

It’s my “off-season” of sorts here on the blog.  Add into that a growing, young family and time just seems to be hard to come by (not to mention my real “day job” of taking care of hundreds of athletes at a high school).  However, I am always listening and reading.

Today I stumbled across an Australian Rules (Footy) article about a knee injury but what I found in the article was a quote, from a professional athlete, that made me smile.  It seems that self-awareness and concussions is starting to take root (emphasis mine);

“I went to lunge to tackle Dangerfield and I remember Jimmy coming the other way and he sort of clipped my head and at the time, I didn’t think too much about my knee, I was more worried about my head,” Armitage told AFL.com.au after he was released from hospital on Wednesday.

If you read about the knee injury and the subsequent teammates horror over that you would wonder why he was thinking about his head.  David Armitage, without realizing it, has shown people, athletes are cognizant of concussion and in this instance placing that injury above a knee injury (albeit a laceration – significant enough to warrant a nine-day hospital stay).

This is where we need to get to, acceptance of the injury.  Understand that this will and can happen and then move on from there.

Its not the injury of concussion that is the real issue, rather it is the mismanagement of the concussion that is the real problem.

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There Is More Than Football

26 Aug

I know we all think of late August and early September as football season, but there are other sports out there that deserve some attention as well.  I do empathize with the football coaches that constantly tell me we are “picking” on that particular sport – we are not.  It is tough to overlook a sport that garners the most eyes and advertising around here.  That being said there are other sports either just starting, gearing up or in the final stretch that deserve note.

Baseball is grinding to the playoff push and under the radar is the fact that catchers are finally being honest about their heads.  Many have hit the DL this year for concussions, most recently Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins.  Certainly there have been others but it is worth noting that late in the season, seeing catchers develop concussions should not, nor will it be a surprise in the future.

Summer heat does not make one immediately think of ice rinks and hockey pucks, but Canada’s most popular sport will soon be getting into camp to prepare for the upcoming season.  When the puck does finally drop in early October (Go Avs!) the NHL looks to improve on their better handle on concussions.  But, the bigger reason for preparing for the hockey season is the upcoming Ice Hockey Summit II, held at the Mayo ClinicContinue reading

2013 Concussion Tracking – Need Help

19 Mar

Looking for some help out there…  Due to a myriad of factors I have let time slip away from me and have gotten behind the seasons for concussion data collection.

I am looking to keep current the NBA, NHL, MLB and AFL concussion lists; as of right now I have the AFL taken care of, the rest, not so much.

I have virtually missed the hockey season, I am hoping you all can fill me in with that.

I have a list of NBA concussions, but it seems that there has not be a single concussion in nearly a month;

Brea JJ MIN
Davis Anthony NO
Zeller Tyler CLE
Kidd-Gilchrist Michael CHA
Kaman Chris DAL
Gasol Pau LAL
Williams Marvin UTA
Melo Fab BOS
Shengalia Tornike BRO
Sanders Larry MIL

And the MLB season is in spring training and have caught only Steven Drew’s concussion to this point.

I am asking for all of your help.  If you wouldn’t mind posting a comment to catch me up (NHL send me an email), or tweeting concussions I would be very appreciative.

If anyone is going to have the time to be the “keeper” of the stats you may also email me your information and we can discuss how best to achieve the most complete lists.

Thanks again!

Aussies Study Concussions in Former Collision Sport Athletes

26 Feb

From Sunday Night down in Australia a story of how research on the brains of former footballers may shake up the sport;

Greg Williams is an AFL legend, and one of the hardest men ever to play the game. In his glittering 14-year career, ‘Diesel’ won a premiership, two Brownlow Medals and was named in the AFL’s Team of the Century. .

Shaun Valentine is another tough bloke: like Williams, he copped countless on field wallopings in his career in rugby league. Williams retired at 34, Valentine at just 26. Both men are now struggling with everyday life as they battle the long-term effects of so many blows to the head during their respective careers. Both men are married with children – and both are facing the biggest challenge of their lives.

In what’s been a world first study here in Australia, the results of tests on retired professional players are revealed, and they will send shockwaves through all the codes.

The video (The price of playing the game) tells the story of Williams and Valentine and gives the results of what they know to this point.  Make sure you click the link above to find it.  You will notice that there is no mention of CTE in the Aussie players – yet when they go to the US for the story CTE is the first thing talked about.  It is understood, that currently most researchers in Australia are not ready to accept CTE as a diagnosis or even its existence in former footballers.  The focus is more on dementia Continue reading

Please Explain

6 Nov

It is a common thought that crosses my mind when I see questionable actions around a concussion situation.  Unfortunately I don’t have the power to get the answers, so I basically post them on here for others to see.

This is not the case in Australian Rules Football; if you are team and you receive a “please explain” regarding an injury (mainly concussions) you are probably treading on thin ice.

There is a mechanism in AFL that formally puts teams and doctors on notice when things just don’t add up.  Take for example the handling of a concussion by the North Melbourne Roos;

Interim Kangaroos chief executive Cameron Vale emailed AFL operations manager Adrian Anderson on Monday after the Roos were told to respond to a ”please explain” issued by the league last week.

The Kangaroos have been under investigation over the manner in which they handled Hansen after he received a heavy knock against Essendon in round 20, and also for the way they have responded to AFL investigators Brett Clothier and Abraham Haddad in recent weeks.

The AFL has been unimpressed with the club’s handling of the issue, although the Kangaroos have bristled at suggestions football manager Donald McDonald had influenced the testimony of key figures involved.

The letter is not the first step, rather the end step in a process that allows the medical board of the AFL to investigate how the practices of player protection is put in place.  Is it oversight?  You bet and I feel that the AFL does something much-needed in all professional sports.  Really, it is only applicable to the pros because of the resources, however it could translate to large colleges as well.

In Zurich I spoke to Dr. McCrory about what they do in regards to this, here are the basics; Continue reading

Zurich Day 2… And We Are Live

2 Nov

I have figured out the power situation so I will be trying to update the blog ASAP after each session…  For the time being make sure to follow on Twitter…

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1030 CST: Session 7, final session: The Sharp End

First debate between Dr. Cantu (yes) and Dr. Herring (no): is no RTP same day the best management paradigm?  Is keeping a player out one week long enough and is the graduated RTP protocol sufficient…

THERE WILL BE NO RTP on same day in the new statement!!!

Change of direction on Session 7, questions with panel answers, pro-con (if available)

Do 3 concussions end your career?

  • its comedy hour
  • Aubrey – treat each athlete individually
  • Dvorak – it has to be based on timing and complexity of each recovery – case-by-case basis
  • Putukian – if we can’t agree on dx how can we agree on a number
  • Overall theme is it is individualized, not all concussions are the same (Cantu)

Who is best qualified to make the sideline decision?

  • Cantu – multiple members working under a physician can make the call
  • Herring – concerning to him that some information is intrinsic to doctors so need to be careful
  • better question is who best qualified – person with most experience
  • Dvorak – looking at spectrum of games played, doctors are best qualified in most instances, but are they there in all matches?  We should aim all this to the “grass roots” as the professional level there is more than adequate coverage.
    • comedy about football versus american football
  • Ellenbogen – those that know the athletes should be making the decision, maybe a parent in youth sports, or athletic trainers, understanding the patients baseline is important
  • Putukian – balancing act, in a perfect world its a team approach (Athletic Trainer mention), and she says in the US the athletic trainer should be making the decisions on the sidelines…
  • Aubrey – Hockey Canada has a safety person (volunteer) in lieu of an athletic trainer
  • Cantu – brings up possibly training school teachers in concussion
  • Herring – if you are team physician do you need someone else to make the decision if you are on the sideline?  Panel – no

Is there a role for grading concussions?

  • Cantu – not perfect, but informing patient is important about severity and duration of recovery, after the fact
  • McCrory – we have moved from grading, look at the recovery – perhaps look at the SCAT/serial testing
  • Putukian – looking at history is more important than arbitrary “grade”
  • Herring – may help with continual care from one place to another, but again important to understand history

Should we be returning on the same day of concussion?

  • Aubrey – what about the NHL player in the playoffs (rhetorical question)
  • Cantu – no once recognized
  • McCrory – what about the players that clear the SCAT, so no concussion, but you know something is amiss?
  • Putukian – example of hockey player with delayed symptoms
  • McCrory – concussion is often an evolving injury
  • Ellenbogen – it is a traumatic brain injury, is the game worth it?  No.
  • Panel – consensus is NO RTP same day
  • McCrory to Aubrey about playoff example – what about a regular season, and Aubrey is being very honest, and he feels the player push back is greater
  • Ken Dryden from the audience – why are we treating professional athletes different from the youth or non-elite athlete
    • We are starting to move away from that, all athletes should be treated the same

Should there be helmets in woman’s lacrosse and field hockey?

  • Cantu – yes, because of stick and ball causation of concussion
  • Putukian – no, change nature of the game, no reports of intercranial bleeds in women’s lacrosse, weary of unintended consequences (BTW, probably has the most experience with this)
  • Cantu and Putukian discussing this topic
  • Change gears – what about football?
    • Dvorak not in FIFA’s plans to recommend, many reasons including the false security of wearing head gear
  • Audience Q: should we discourage the use of the head bands/head gear
    • Dvorak – your own prerogative but data does not support the use of them as recommendation (Czech goalie wears one)
    • McIntosh – Rules are more important at this time

Should there be age restriction on tackling in American football, heading in soccer and checking in ice hockey?

  • Cantu – his words speak for themselves, youth sports needs to look at how the game is played because of the differences between older
  • McCrory – in Australia you cannot get to the gladiatorial aspect of Aussie Rules until they are “of age” (13 if I heard correctly)
  • Ellenbogen – risk of activity, most concussions via CDC information is from wheeled sports and recreation, does not make sense at this time to him, advise accordingly
  • Cantu – youth sports don’t have the good data, personally he does not believe learning a sport at age 5 will make you elite, it is a genetic disposition in his opinion
  • Putukian – it makes sense to decrease exposure, US Lacrosse has put age 13 on checking, her take on soccer is that there is no data to support this when using proper sized ball and equipment
  • Dvorak – young soccer players learn sport first, and fundamentals of “football” its not “headball”, studies done on heading ball and with study there was no increase in biomarkers they were looking at it.  They don’t force kids to head ball until skills are sufficient.
  • Herring – false warranty?  Arbitrary age is concerning, take head out of the game rather then taking the game away from youth athletes.  The limit to exposure is accurate, but complete removal of the sport may not be necessary.
  • Cantu – sport needs to be safer for younger athletes
  • Aubrey – ice hockey has set limits on age for body checking, research is very important, it will help make decisions

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Dr. Jamie Kissick speaking on “From Consensus to Action”

  • Knowledge is power
  • “There is an app for that”
  • Knowledge Translation (KT) Concepts Continue reading

2012 Footy Concussion Report #2

26 Jul

It is a good time to update what is happening Down Under as the Footy season is now in Round 18 (of 25) and after my interview on FiveAA radio in South Australia and the Kurt Tippet debate that is at least getting our attention (bold for emphasis);

Coach Brenton Sanderson expected the Crows star will resume training next week and return for the round-19 match against Essendon, but said the club would take no chances.

“I’m sure we’re going to see him back really soon,” Sanderson said on Wednesday.

“Hopefully, that’s next week but we’ll make sure we make the right decision.

“We’re not going to force him to go back out and play.

“He’s got to be comfortable, the medical team’s got to be comfortable and, as coaches, we’ve got to be comfortable with selecting him, knowing he’s going to be OK.”

Tippett suffered another head injury in the second quarter of the Crows’ win over West Coast at Football Park last weekend and was subbed out just after half-time.

It was his third concussion in just over a month and raised concerns over his long-term future.

As I stated in my interview the question of a NFL football player playing after a third concussion in five weeks is almost laughable, we rarely see three concussions in a single season, Ben Watson of the Browns last year being the only one we have found.

After the interview I did as much research as I could on Tippett Continue reading

Aussie Rules Football Test Case

26 Jul

In the sport of Footy there are often collisions and hits that elicit concussive episodes, recently a player in the AFL received his third concussion in merely five weeks. The case of Kurt Tippett will be one Australia and the world will be watching;

Kurt Tippett’s immediate playing future is set to become a test case for the AFL’s treatment of concussion injuries.

The Crows have rested Tippett from Saturday’s game against the Cats in Geelong after the Adelaide forward suffered his third concussion in five weeks in the round-17 clash with West Coast on July 21.

Adelaide have been working closely with AFL Medical Officers’ Association boss Hugh Seward and AFL medical director Peter Harcourt.

Tippett is also likely to be rested for a second match.

However Nine’s The Footy Show said on Thursday night that senior medical figures around Melbourne were expected to advise the AFL that Tippett should not play again this season.

Tippett on Thursday underwent a series of scans which will be analysed in the coming days, the program said.

Unless there is a structural problem the likelihood that there is anything on a scan is minimal. The simple fact should be Tippett needs to rest and recover, longer than a week.

I will have more on this later, (post forth coming with radio interview) but something else Continue reading

Further Investigation of AFL Inquiry of “hidden concussion”

10 Jul

If you recall our post earlier today there was a link about the AFL wanting more information about an injury that occurred in the Carlton/Collingwood match.  It resulted in some peculiar signs from Kade Simpson.

AFL.com.au writer Damian Barrett wrote about this; noting that medical personnel would have some serious consternation with it;

AFL MEDICAL professionals loathe it when non-medical people critique their work.

Some get so incensed they verge on apoplexy.

So we make this observation with bated breath – some decisions made by AFL doctors during a football match seem to be influenced by the state of that game.

Rightly or wrongly, Collingwood has twice this year put back onto the field players who had already sustained damage, only for those players, Luke Ball and Scott Pendlebury, to later be diagnosed with serious problems.

Out of the weekend’s round 15 matches, two clubs, Carlton and Essendon, were questioned over their handling of stricken players, respectively Kade Simpson and Kyle Reimers.

The hit on Simpson by Collingwood’s Sharrod Wellingham was horrific, and left the Blue midfielder with a broken jaw and arm spasms.

The AFL meds aren’t the only ones, the docs (and athletic trainers) here are very wary of any observation resulting in “sideline medicine”.  However, not only am I a trained medical professional specializing in concussions but the brain injury of concussion is subjective.  Meaning simply that you can assess or observe a concussion from signs produced from the insult to the brain.

In this particular case Simpson did in fact show clear, overt signs of a concussion; yet was allowed to return to play.  How do I know, heck all of you should be able to observe it yourself, look… Continue reading

Law Suits Spreading Across the Pacific

10 Jul

Trying to keep up with all the concussion news is tough, even harder across the Pacific in Australia.  I choose that particular spot because of the collision sports of rugby and Aussie Rules Football.  In my most recent search of concussion Down Under I tripped across an article that was highlighting a current concussion issue with a player, Kade Simpson – by the way the official injury listed is jaw, but this article reports a concussion, obviously an inherent sporting issue to not report.  Heck even the AFL is asking one of its teams to identify an injury that reportedly, denied by team, resulted in loss of consciousness; team merely stated he had blurred vision after a hard head knock (really?????)

Regardless I found this very interesting comment in the article;

Melbourne’s Daniel Bell and Western Bulldog Matthew Robbins have highlighted their own issues with concussion, while Dean Kemp and Chad Rintoul are among players who have won injury compensation.

It appears as though the concussion issue is hampering a lot of people who choose to take the risks in collision sports.  I will see if I can dig up more.

The article mentions that there will be the 4th International Conference in Zürich later this year, can anyone get me an invite to this?  I will gladly report back for all interested.

Also in the article from the Continue reading

Quick Hits

6 Jun

One catcher returns, another goes on the DL for concussion.  Carlos Santana of the Indians is scheduled to return from his stint on the DL for concussion while Angels Bobby Wilson was struck with a foul ball;

Bobby Wilson knew something was wrong when, while catching the second inning against the Seattle Mariners Monday night, he said he “felt like I could fall asleep right there behind home plate.”

Wilson took a foul ball off the facemask in the first and was replaced by John Hester in the bottom of the second. Tuesday, Wilson was put on the seven-day concussion disabled list and replaced on the roster by catcher Hank Conger, who was recalled from triple-A Salt Lake.

“It was the same feeling I had the last time,” said Wilson, who suffered a concussion in a plate collision with Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira in his first big league start on April 23, 2010. “My face felt like it was on fire. I was drowsy, fatigued, in a fog.”

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NFL running back not thinking about future injury, nor should he.  Javid Best of the Detroit Lions Continue reading

Rugby Concussion Discussion

23 May

Part of the email I received about the AFL injuries were some papers written about the concussion issue in the National Rugby League (NRL), Rugby Union and of course Footy.  The first article was written by Fredric Gilbert, PhD and Bradley J. Partridge titled The need to tackle concussion in Australian football codes.  The gist of the article was about the still hidden injury of concussion, relating to reporting and return to play.  The authors wanted to point out that the cumulative effects of concussions are just now surfacing and that “all contact sports should adopt and evaluate the effects of precautionary policies that require concussed players to leave the field.”

What I really appreciated was the section devoted to youth sports;

Reducing the risk of concussive and subconcussive impacts is even more critical at the non-professional level, where there is a large population of vulnerable young players to whom a significant duty of care is owed.6 Most reported cases of second-impact syndrome (when a brain that has not healed from a previous injury suffers an additional trauma) that led to death or severe disability have occurred in young athletes.19 Yet most amateur teams do not have qualified health professionals or other staff who are trained to detect and assess concussion. At this level of sport, many concussions likely go unrecognised and incorrectly managed.20,21 However, if players and sporting organisations at the elite level change their approach to head injury and concussion, it is hoped that those at amateur levels will do likewise.

Although the state of athletic trainers – physios in Australia – is currently unknown to me it seems that the push is again for correct oversight for the youth.  Gilbert and Partridge seem to be addressing the same issue we have been here about youth concussions, which is great to see.  If the top-level of sport addresses the issue head on then it will trickle down.  Just like those players sloughing off the concussions to play – and the young players trying to emulate – management can work the same way.

The article above did prompt an editorial reply from some heavy hitters Continue reading

More Conversations Down Under

23 May

As The Concussion Blog continues to gain recognition it seems that some of the information is being used around the world.  This can be noted in our analytics and seeing plenty of blog views from around the globe.  Not surprisingly the US has the most traffic, followed by Canada and Mexico.  The next most is the United Kingdom and Australia; presumably for our coverage of soccer and Aussie Rules.  Because of this we get vast amounts of email from around the globe, and Australia has been providing tons of information to help with the blog and insight of how things are handled in their part of the world.

Most recently I was sent the 2011 AFL Injury Report for a comparison of our numbers versus theirs.  Before we get into the actual concussion numbers it is interesting to note the most troublesome injury in football Down Under is hamstrings.  By far this muscular injury affects more players per club per season than any other.

Back to the injury report, an injury is defined as “injury or medical condition which causes a player to miss a match”.  It does not take into consideration any ailment that a player plays through or one that resolves in time for the next match.  This is not unlike the NFL and their injury listings giving rise to an actual reporting issue – one we have discussed many times.  If you look at the report they have historical perspective as well; in terms of concussion 2011 was the highest in incidence (1.1 new concussions/team/season) since 1992 (1.3 new concussions/team/season).  There was over double the incidence of concussion from 2010 (heck almost three fold since 2006) to this past year.

The primary question was how does the official numbers jive with our numbers here; the answer is Continue reading

2012 Footy Concussion Report #1

15 May

There may not be any posts about Australian Rules Football concussions to this point but we have been watching.  As you have seen in previous days the press in Australia is starting to report more and more the issues with concussions, something that was absent the past few years.  As it stands now the AFL has 21 listed concussions, up from 11 this time last year.

Heading into this expansion season I was looking forward to the better reporting of concussions in the AFL.  Last year the league and press drew harsh criticism from me for what I believed to be intentionally hiding the injury.  Heck the ‘Super Footy’ section of the press stopped reporting ALL injuries for a four-week period as I was posting the injuries, and when it returned it was EXTREMELY rare to find anyone listed as a concussion so we turned to another website called Sportal.  As the season progressed we found more concussions and by the end of the season last year we had our first picture of footy concussions over a season.  Looking back one of the primary problems discovered and remedied by seasons end was the high number of facial fractures that seemed to be overriding a concussion, hence the need for Fink’s Rule.

It is now 2012, with the heightened awareness there is hope that a “truer” picture of AFL concussions can be taken…  Continue reading

Concussion Hard Limits?

14 May

If you have read Fifty Shades of Grey you know what a hard limit is (yes I will freely admit I have read the series after my wife brought it home) and there is at lease one respected doc Down Under that has proposed such a limit to footballers.  Quick reminder we are talking Australian Football, however this could be extrapolated across all sports.  However there is danger is such hard limits, as we will discuss later.

From ABC news in Australia, Jeffery Rosenfeld the director of neurosurgery at Alfred Hospital in Melbourne feels that three concussions over a life-time in football should disqualify you from competitive and full contact forms of the game;

“I personally would say three significant concussions, three strikes and you’re out. I would be a bit wary of that player going back,” he said.

“They can still play sport but perhaps not the rough and tumble and risk associated with the tackling in a contact sport like football.” Continue reading

Aussie’s Now Start to Take it Serious

8 May

You have seen us blast the Australian Rules Football league on occasion for how they handle concussions, but you have also see us applaud the forward thinking of research coming from Down Under.  Now there is a movement to subject players to a yearly brain scan exam in hopes of identifying problems;

Andrew Krakouer’s manager Peter Jess has written to the AFL seeking changes, as he stresses links between depression and continuing concussions in football.

The AFL research board has funded a study to see if elite players are more susceptible to cognitive disorders later in life due to concussions.

But Jess said the league must go further, and was frustrated with AFL doctor Hugh Seward’s assessment that there is no link between concussion and depression.

Jess said at least one brain scan — Continue reading

Coalition for Concussion Treatment #C4CT

27 Apr

Yesterday I helped launch the #C4CT cause via the blog and twitter and it was nice to see the interest really begin to peak (thanks @SchuttSports, @the_jockdoc  and many others).  As with most movements or introduction of products getting interest is the first thing; now with official press release in hand it is time to explain and get more of us going here.

The hard work of Jack Brewer and Alex Nennig (and probably others) of Brewer Sports International have created this coalition which I believe to be a “best foot forward” approach in not only raising awareness and education of concussions (our number on goal on The Concussion Blog) but has a possibility to stake a claim in treatment of lasting effects of TBI.  I am honored to be asked to be a primary supporter of this cause, although as it catches wild-fire I am hopeful more important people jump aboard – looking at you NFLPA and NFL.

It is also an honor to be along side a very strong and promising law student in Paul Anderson.  I have had many conversations about creating such a cause, but have yet to find the trailblazing counterparts until this came along.  Please take the time to read the below press release and join along this weekend in using the #C4CT, even promoting questions from others about the hash tag is an opportunity to inform!

Press Release========== Continue reading

Return of Footy Concussion Watch

8 Mar

Our primary visitors do not know much about Footy, also known as Australian Rules Football, however due to this author liking the sport combined with the seemingly lack of current awareness Down Under I feel it is worthy of keeping up on here.

Last year I was rather critical of how the AFL and the Footy culture appeared to not to be up-to-speed with the concussion/brain injury definitely inherent to the sport;

It should come as no surprise that concussions have been seemingly low for a sport with a ton of full speed collisions; a lot of them coming “unannounced” and unexpectedly, the most prevalent way of sustaining a concussive blow.  There were 374 games played in the season with only 46 found concussions (some of them were classified concussion via the Fink Rule).

Not surprisingly after people started taking notice in Australia and with others (like this blog) doing their best to track the injury the AFL reported a rise in incidence;

After the AFL yesterday announced in its annual injury survey that the incidence of concussion rose in 2011 – following the introduction of new guidelines designed to better protect players from the condition…

However we must hand it to the researchers Down Under, as they have begun a test-retest Continue reading

Footy Concussion Update: End of Regular Season

7 Sep

The Concussion Blog is now tracking the concussions of another collision sport, one with very good media coverage, albeit not in North America.  Aussie Rules Football and its professional league AFL have had an issue with concussion in the past and as we have seen on videos here, they can be scary.  With the help of Sportal we will be compiling the concussions on a weekly basis.

As the regular season has come to an end – with my favorite team taking the top spot (Magpies) – we have finalized the concussion incidence from Down Under.

It should come as no surprise that concussions have been seemingly low for a sport with a ton of full speed collisions; a lot of them coming “unannounced” and unexpectedly, the most prevalent way of sustaining a concussive blow.  There were 374 games played in the season with only 46 found concussions (some of them were classified concussion via the Fink Rule). Continue reading

Footy Concussion Report Round 16

8 Jul

The Concussion Blog is now tracking the concussions of another collision sport, one with very good media coverage, albeit not in North America.  Aussie Rules Football and its professional league AFL have had an issue with concussion in the past and as we have seen on videos here, they can be scary.  With the help of Sportal we will be compiling the concussions on a weekly basis.

We have not forgotten about Aussie Rules Football, merely watching and compiling from afar.  There have been some very good contests the past 4 weeks, since our last update, but with that has come a slight increase in concussions.  If you have been following the updates for the Footy Concussions you will know that I have tried to reach out to; The AFL, some of the teams, various media in Australia and even the medical community of Australia.  All of those requests have gone unresponded to giving me pause about what actually the culture is like regarding concussions Down Under.

Currently we have found 30 concussions listed for Australia’s most popular sport, and that makes the rate of concussions 2 per round.  Below is the actual compiled list; Continue reading

Footy Concussion Report Round 11

2 Jun

he Concussion Blog is now tracking the concussions of another collision sport, one with very good media coverage, albeit not in North America.  Aussie Rules Football and its professional league AFL have had an issue with concussion in the past and as we have seen on videos here, they can be scary.  With the help of Sportal we will be compiling the concussions on a weekly basis.The AFL is nearing the halfway point in the regular season and the concussions listed are starting to trickle in.  However I believe that some teams are following the “script” of NFL teams by not releasing the information if the players miraculously recovering in 5 days.  That “script” would be not releasing the information about the injury if it is not going to effect the upcoming game.

This week there was one “officially” listed and the other occurred on the same team in the same game but has not been reported as a concussion.  However that injury was documented in an article that stated he was hit in the head, removed on a stretcher, went to hospital, and his neck was cleared; guess what the injury is listed as…  “neck”; SMH! Below is the video of the “neck” injury, Goddard looks to have a “stinger” mechanism of injury, however the knock was to the head, and from further reports the injury was suspected to include his head.

So for this report the new listings are from St. Kilda; Continue reading

Footy Concussion Report Round 10

26 May

The Concussion Blog is now tracking the concussions of another collision sport, one with very good media coverage, albeit not in North America.  Aussie Rules Football and its professional league AFL have had an issue with concussion in the past and as we have seen on videos here, they can be scary.  With the help of Sportal we will be compiling the concussions on a weekly basis.

Do you recall my rant two weeks ago about the difficulty finding the injuries, especially at the “Superfooty” website?  Well guess what, they have reverted back to the old method and the method adopted by Sportal.  I still have no idea if anyone down under is reading the blog, THEY SHOULD BE, but I would like to think there is someone paying attention.  Let me take this time to extend an invitation for any team doctor or athletic therapist down under to meet with us, via phone or you can travel over here…  BETTER YET, I believe that I can effort the time to head that way for a symposium tour down under (of course this is a shameless plug to pay for me to see some live AFL), haha.  Seriously though I believe I can find enough “smart” people to create a learning opportunity for the AFL and Australian sports about concussions, email us.

Now with the self-promotion and begging for a trip down under out of the way there has been an increase Continue reading

More Education Needed Down Under

25 May

If you have followed our attempts at charting the Australian Rules Football concussions you have noticed my overt tone of frustration.  I have even proposed a “cover up”; that may be way more conspiracy than truth.  I do believe that I have found out a reason as to why we are not seeing more concussions in Australia in all sports, lack of knowledge.

In a Sydney Morning Herald story today about a rugby player there are some very SCARY things the doctors are presenting down under;

Doctors have cleared Berrick Barnes of concussion from last Saturday, instead diagnosing him with a less serious condition called footballer’s migraine, which might also explain some of his previous head injuries that have been put down to concussion.

Waratahs team doctor Sharron Flahive said that Barnes sustained a minor knock to the back of the head while playing against the Lions, suffered a delayed reaction of dizziness, and then had such a heavy loss of memory that he could not remember what year it was, which week of the season he was in, or if he had played for the Waratahs last year.

We are going to take this piece by piece; dizziness and loss of memory are obvious signs of abnormal brain function and should have classified this player with a concussion.  But in Australia they are classifying head injuries as “footballer’s migraine” (by the way FM is a term from research in 1972, 40-year-old information), wait until you see what else the Dr.’s are saying. Continue reading

Footy Concussion Report Round 9

19 May

The Concussion Blog is now tracking the concussions of another collision sport, one with very good media coverage, albeit not in North America.  Aussie Rules Football and its professional league AFL have had an issue with concussion in the past and as we have seen on videos here, they can be scary.  With the help of Sportal we will be compiling the concussions on a weekly basis.

After some difficulty finding concussions down under, this week listings were much easier to find as two players were found along with two curious injury designations.  Let us begin with the interesting listings.

Last week I tweeted about Andrew Toovey and the hit he took; VIDEO HERE via AFL.  Seen in the video is Toovey taking a knee to the head as he was falling then his head bounced off the ground.  As he is taken off on a cart his neck was stabilized and it appeared that Toovey was out prior to that.  His injury is listed as “chest”, but we are going to list this as a concussion.

The other listing was not one we could see on a highlight film, but one that makes me think that the listing is a result of a/many concussions.  Simon Hogan of Geelong has been Continue reading

Footy Concussion Report Round 8

12 May

The Concussion Blog is now tracking the concussions of another collision sport, one with very good media coverage, albeit not in North America.  Aussie Rules Football and its professional league AFL have had an issue with concussion in the past and as we have seen on videos here, they can be scary.  With the help of Sportal we will be compiling the concussions on a weekly basis.

It has been about 5 weeks since we updated this list; reason being one could not find any information on concussions in the AFL.  Personally speaking, while watching the games there have been multiple incidences of players being taken off the field, or staggering around after a hit; yet no concussion report.

In fact, after I sent out multiple emails down under for some help in finding this information; the “Superfooty” coverage of injuries changed.  Continue reading

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