2012 Footy Concussion Report #2

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

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”

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

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

Aussie’s Now Start to Take it Serious

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

Return of Footy Concussion Watch

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 Concussions Round 3

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 Herald Sun we will be compiling the concussions on a weekly basis.

Only three weeks in and the information about concussions is very limited.  Perhaps this sport does not lend itself to as many concussions as we previously thought?  (pure sarcasm)  I can tell you that the media does not seem as interested in finding the story, as compared to their North American counterparts.  They will however cover the stories of concussions as they come up or are blatantly obvious.

From abroad, with limited contacts, no resources in Australia and a time change that makes my head spin we do feel that The Concussion Blog is covering every single REPORTED concussion in the AFL.  What we cannot do; Continue reading

Footy Concussion Report Round 2

The Concussion Blog has decided to take up another project, 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 Herald Sun we will be compiling the concussions on a weekly basis.

After the second round there has been a noticeable interest in the concussion issue, from the media/broadcasters, to the print journalists, to even the players.  The stigma has reared its ugly head in a national broadcast, as Jack Riewoldt was very upset after being subbed out.  A day later Riewoldt conceded that the decision to remove him was the correct move.  Also in footy news; Daniel Bell opened up about his battle with symptoms related to post concussion syndrome and Daniel Gilmore is set to bring a negligence case against his former club and the AFL.

With all of this newly found awareness one would think Continue reading

A Case of Negligence?

The first publicized legal action against a professional league with regards to negligence when returning a player to the field.  Granted the judicial system in the AFL has no bearing on the US system, this will be an interesting case to keep an eye on.

Daniel Gilmore, who played for Fremantle in the Australian Football League in 2004-2009 is now bringing forward a case against the AFL and his former club for alleged “fit to play” designation after a head injury.

Delisted ruckman Daniel Gilmore, 28, will allege he was incorrectly passed fit to play by club doctors after a heavy hit in 2008.

Gilmore has since endured migraines, dizzy spells and lethargy. He was cut at the end of the 2009 season.

The Gilmore case may have greater ramifications than that of former Melbourne defender Daniel Bell, who is seeking compensation over concussion injuries, but is not claiming negligence or malpractice by his club.

Gilmore’s claim will be heard by the AFL Grievance Tribunal.


Jack Riewoldt, Richmond Tigers

Jack Riewoldt was the most recent concussion issue in footy.  As Friday Night football (AFL Style) happened tonight–yesterday in Melbourne.  Riewoldt was extremely woozy upon leaving the field, and after the evaluation and an actual time period of about 20 minutes he was not allowed to return, and he was not happy about it.  We must give credit to the medico’s (as the call them down under) for this decision.

In this recap you can see the Riewoldt injury again at mark 0:46, Continue reading

Former AFL’er Opens Up

Daniel Bell was like any kid growing up in Australia, he wanted to play on the hallowed grounds of the AFL.  As his journey began playing youth footy he was wearing a helmet for extra head protection.  That ended when at the age of 15 he felt both out-of-place on the field with something many others were not wearing and his perception he (more specifically his head) was targeted due to the helmet.  Now Bell is struggling to get through a day without issues related to head trauma.

“Players who hear Daniel’s story will realise the importance of being open and honest with their doctors.”

Earlier on Thursday, Bell said his motivation for raising the issue was to encourage clubs to embrace “brain training”, similar to the treatment he is receiving at Elite Minds, for players that suffer concussion.

“Now, you let [concussion] settle down and then you play again. You don’t do that with a hamstring; you do rehab to improve the muscle to get it back to where it was at,” he told SEN on Thursday morning. Continue reading