Post-concussion symptoms, see concussion symptoms

I was brain injured in 2003 while cycling in Victoria, BC. Concussions are also known as mild traumatic brain injuries and while what I sustained was a coma-inducing severe traumatic brain injury, from what I hear, and what makes sense to me, there seem to be many overlapping symptoms. I read about how Marc Savard has “post-concussion” symptoms and I’m really wondering why they call them post-concussion symptoms and why I always say ‘I was brain injured’. I guess the major traumatic blow to my head  is a thing of the past, so, on a technicality, I can get away with saying “was brain injured”, but plain logic is enough to tell you that you don’t have symptoms from an injury that doesn’t exist. I still have major symptoms and even though you can’t see my injury just by looking at me today, doesn’t mean that my brain has completely healed. Some parts of my brain seem unaffected, but Continue reading

Breaking The Silence In Hockey

Unwritten rules in sports have their place, more importantly, HAD their place.  Sure, some of the unspeakable yet respected rules govern sports in a way written rules can never do.  Most of these rules deal with punitive retaliation for a wrong doing, for example; hitting a batter after one of your players was hit, a sign that “you have his back”.  But within these archaic hidden rules are even more hidden rules, a society of secrets, things that those that never played the game “will not understand.”  To a point I happen to agree with the spirit of each of these ‘secret codes’, but at times every player and observer must understand that those sacred rules SHOULD be broken.

Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe reported on such ‘Code Breakers’ in hockey, revolving around the recently shut down Marc Savard.  The two players in his article have chosen to speak out…  AGAINST THEIR OWN…  Gasp! [/sarcasm]  While this is occurring the ‘old school’ is up in arms about such heinous actions;

Ference’s words touched off far more fireworks than the damage Paille inflicted on Sawada. Commentators Mike Milbury and Don Cherry, both former Boston coaches turned talkmasters, interpreted Ference’s words as a crime against hockey. They focused not on the words per se (every one of them true and right on point), but instead that Ference, as a member of the Black and Gold, broke the “code’’ by indicting one of his own.

“Unacceptable!’’ shouted Milbury from his bully pulpit.

“I don’t care if your teammate is an axe murderer,’’ bellowed Cherry, proclaiming the eternal need to abide by the game’s honor and keep such comments “in the dressing room.’’

All Andrew Ference said was that the hit that his teammate was punished for was unacceptable, Continue reading

Editorial, Crosby, Morneau & Ice Meets Ice

Sean Meister of Fox Sports Inside Hockey took a stance against the concussion problem beginning to plague the NHL.  In his editorial he used the instances of Sidney Crosby and Marc Savard as examples of how the NHL might not be doing enough.  Meister contends that even though the “more is needed” group is valid in all conversations, sometimes they are more worrisome than valid, this instance in hockey and with concussions is no such case.

Concussions are more than statistics on games lost and player performance. They are more than media buzz, commentator talking points and a reason to attack the game of hockey. And, ultimately, concussions are more than just a reality of a physical sport.

Often lost in all the analysis of what causes concussions is the result and aftermath of them.

This is where we stand on the issue as well.  The injury is going to occur in sport and life, but how we, as players, coaches, medical professionals and parents (just to name some) handle them is the real issue.  However the prevention of the injury itself is also an issue that should be addressed, and it is.

Currently we have only limited data suggesting the long-term effects of concussive episodes, and although they are very powerful,  waiting for all long-term studies to finish may be too long.  This issue takes a multidimensional approach including prevention, research, trial (and error), new evaluation tools, and management.  Is it the best we can do, yes…  Because doing nothing and ignoring the issue and denying the fact that something is happening is ‘dirty pool’ to all that have and will sustain concussions.


Sidney Crosby is taking the recovery serious, Continue reading

Marc Savard Out For the Season (UPDATED)

Ongoing post-concussion symptoms relating back to last NHL season will force Marc Savard to sit the remainder of the year.

Savard sat out the first two months of the season and training camp to recover from the post-concussion syndrome, an injury that came from a blindside hit by Penguins’ Matt Cooke on March 7 of last season. However, after returning on Dec. 2, he suffered another concussion on Jan. 22, his  second in less than a year.

Savard is quickly becoming the “face” of post-concussion syndrome in hockey, and the guy has had some serious bad luck.  It is not known as of now if these are his only two concussions he has suffered during his career, but they may be his last.  His professional hockey career is now at a crossroads, and retirement may be in the cards.  This is truly one of the “good guys” in the sport and it is a shame that it may all come to an end.  We can only hope that he does good and educate all that will listen about his story and help others in the NHL currently and in the future.

This will certainly be an interesting story to follow as more details emerge. (Source)


Update: The Bruins and Marc held a press conference today. NESN has full coverage but some highlights:

-No chance of a return this year no matter what the Bruins playoff situation might be. Continue reading

Rise of NHL Concussions Bad Luck?

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was recently quoted (AP Story):

“(He)…. believes the rise in NHL concussions this season is a result of “bad luck”.

He went further in saying:

“I’m not saying that no concussions came from hits to the head, but it appears that the increase is coming from somewhere else,” Bettman said.

Before I critique either of those comments, I will preface this by saying it is possible these quotes were taken out of context of a longer conversion not covered in the AP story.  Personally I believe Commissioner Bettman was really stating that it  was its “bad luck” that the league superstar (aka Sidney Crosby) sustained a concussion and brought increased media attention to NHL concussions.  But regardless of the intent of the comments, this headline should be seen as a negative for the league.

As this blog has extensively covered, this NFL season vaulted ‘concussions’ into the public consciousness and conversation.  As a result, many states and organizations are now rushing to create and enforce  stronger return-to-play guidelines.  I don’t think there are many informed medical professionals that will agree with the Commissioner’s assessment that the increase in concussions is purely related to statistical chance or luck.  With the league struggling to regain and retain fans post-lockout and TV viewers post-Olympic bump, many will agree that the speed, the hits and the fights (true even though the NHL will deny it) are the main draws of the sport.

As we have and many other media outlets have reported, the NHL has Continue reading

Marc Savard Continues with Post-Concussion Effects

Marc Savard of the Boston Bruins took a big hit last year while playing in the regular season.  He was scratched from playing for 20 games leading up to the playoffs.  Then as expected symptoms cleared and he passed his required testing and given an all clear for return during the NHL Playoffs.

But as we know or SHOULD know… Continue reading