Quick Hits on a Cold Thursday

American Medical Society of  Sports Medicine Position Statement…

I had seen this but caught it again in a below article, the AMSSM released its position statement on concussions recently.  Most of those involved in writing this were in Zurich last November and this comes out about two months before the consensus statement is released in the British Journal of Medicine.  (pssssst – it is also going to have a release in Australia, in conjunction with the AFL Concussion Conference and first round of games and I am still looking for a sponsor)

I found one piece of this position statement very encouraging and made me smile for all the hard work others have done;

Return to Class

* Students will require cognitive rest and may require academic accommodations such as reduced workload and extended time for tests while recovering from concussion.

The rest of the statement is not really “Earth shattering” but there are interesting points in there;

* In sports with similar playing rules, the reported incidence of concussion is higher in females than males.

* Certain sports, positions, and individual playing styles have a greater risk of concussion.

* Youth athletes may have a more prolonged recovery and are more susceptible to a concussion accompanied by a catastrophic injury.

* Balance disturbance is a specific indicator of concussion but is not very sensitive. Balance testing on the sideline may be substantially different than baseline tests because of differences in shoe/cleat type or surface, use of ankle tape or braces, or the presence of other lower extremity injury.

* Most concussions can be managed appropriately without the use of neuropsychological testing.

* There is increasing concern that head impact exposure and recurrent concussions contribute to long-term neurological sequelae.

* Some studies have suggested an association between prior concussions and chronic cognitive dysfunction. Large-scale, epidemiological studies are needed to more clearly define risk factors and causation of any long-term neurological impairment.

* Primary prevention of some injuries may be possible with modification and enforcement of the rules and fair play.

* Helmets, both hard (football, lacrosse, and hockey), and soft (soccer, rugby), are best suited to prevent impact injuries (fracture, bleeding, laceration, etc) but have not been shown to reduce the incidence and severity of concussions.

* There is no current evidence that mouth guards can reduce the severity of or prevent concussions.


X-Games, D on coverage…

Anyone catch the X-Games this past weekend?  Action sports are on the rise and the X-Games Continue reading

Concussion Research on the Slopes

There are many places we can mine data to put the pieces of the concussion puzzle together.  Often it is focused on the gridiron, naturally because of the nature of the sport.  The other obvious place to conduct live testing is hockey and rugby, but those are not the only places where valuable research can be done.

In fact, there may be a conglomerate of athletes that can and do sustain a high number of brain injuries; we have highlighted this section of athletics before.  Even the Olympic version of action sports has its issues with concussions, ask Lindsey Vonn.

There is a team of athletic training students and professors from Weber State that are devoting their time not only to treat the mundane injuries of broken legs and arms but also gain experience and insight into concussions; Continue reading

Action Sports an Issue Too

With the Winter X Games upon us, it is a good time to highlight that action sports, mostly unsupervised, are a concussion issue.  A faithful reader and father of a very good athlete summed it up this way;

The major scary part is millions of kids are out there, and ignoring the head slams and concussions because that is what is cool to do in action sports. Videos like this simply tell them to get back up…while in football the changes being made will hopefully make it OK to wait to return to play.

This father is exactly right, Continue reading