Concussions 201

The Concussion Blog, has for years, presented you with the basics of concussions and other issues surrounding this particular brain injury.  Most of it was factual information/research that I opined about.  Others were original information that was seen here first.  Regardless our aim – and continues to be – is to keep everyone aware and educated about this topic.

I was passed along a great article on concussions, it was beyond the “basics” but not so in-depth that you get lost in the mumbojumbo;

In other words, concussions are not caused by a brain doing back flips within the skull. In fact, miniscule amounts of movement might be to blame.

The article was written in response to the Stevan Ridley “Fencing Response” producing injury this past weekend and Dave Siebert colored this situation perfectly;

Pollard’s helmet struck the upper portion of the left side of Ridley’s, and the hit sent Ridley spinning to his right and down to the ground. His brain felt at least two different types of forces on the play—linear and rotational.

When Ridley and Pollard first made contact, Ridley’s skull immediately stopped moving forward, sending his still-moving brain toward the left side of his skull—a result of linear force. At the same time, Ridley rebounded upward and spun to his right, meaning his brain rotated counterclockwise (to the left)—in relation to his skull—a result of rotational force.

In short, Ridley’s brain moved in several different directions as a result of the hit.

I would like to add that our brains or mechanisms to protect the brain, along with helmets do a fairly decent job in absorbing linear forces to the head.  The real culprit here is the rotational force, like a boxer getting hit with huge overhand right.  Siebert’s discussion on “concussion threshold” is very interesting and one that should make sense for everyone.  The ‘hitter’ in this incident Bernard Pollard walked – actually celebrated – away from this collision that knocked out Ridley.

I suggest you take a look at this article, it is a good job by a soon to be Sports Medicine Physician.  h/t Tracey Mayer for passing this along…

2 thoughts on “Concussions 201

  1. Brad Morgan January 24, 2013 / 11:55

    Not to split hairs on this, but in my opinion, Ridley was just as “guilty” for the hit as was Pollard in this incident. Ridley lowered his head to try an deliver a blow to Pollard and ended up paying the price for his decision to do so. He was just lucky that the injury wasn’t far worse than it was.

    • joe bloggs January 24, 2013 / 16:23

      You are not splitting hairs. He lit himself up. Defensive players are often vilified for events beyond their control.

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