Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Return To Play After Concussion -- The Latest Info
by Dev Mishra, February 14th, 2013 11:48PM
Subscribe to Youth Soccer Insider

MOST READ
TAGS:  youth boys, youth girls

MOST COMMENTED

By Dev K. Mishra, M.D.

It seems we are bombarded with new information about concussions on an almost daily basis, and here is even more information to cause us to stop and consider the best time to return a young athlete to play.

A recently published study showed that cognitive and functional deficits persisted in young athletes after sport-related concussion out to 2 months after the concussion.

A group of concussed athletes were followed after girls soccer header concussion and tested at certain intervals. The concussed athletes were compared to a normal group of athletes also tested at the same time periods. The study showed statistically significant deficits in the concussed group compared to the control group in attention and task-switching at all time points tested, although the concussed group did improve over time.

Based on these study results as well other study data, the researchers suggest that adolescents may require an extended recuperation time to completely recover brain function following concussion, and that specific concussion tests can provide valuable information for physicians carrying out follow-up assessments and determining proper time points for return to play.

“If a person goes back to the playing field without a full recovery, that person is put into great danger of being re-injured,” emphasized study author Li-Shan Chou quoted here. “In any given season, if you suffer a concussion, the chances of your suffering a second one is three to six times higher and suffering a third is eight times higher. There are accumulations in this kind of injury. It doesn’t go away easily.”

“The differences we detected may be a matter of milliseconds between a concussed person and a control subject, but as far as brain time goes that difference for a linebacker returning to competition too soon could mean the difference between another injury or successfully preparing to safely tackle an oncoming running back,” said co-author David Howell.

What Can We Take Away From This Study?
This was a well-conducted study that adds to our knowledge base about concussion. Sophisticated testing can often find differences that are very subtle, even to a properly trained physician skilled in concussion management.

The field of concussion testing is evolving and we don’t yet have a consensus on which of the various test methods is best. Most physicians at the college and professional team level use some form of the paper-based evaluation known as SCAT2.

Ideally, the athlete has had preseason testing when he or she was functioning normally. That baseline is then used later to determine the amount of deficit when compared to the post-concussion tests. Ideally you want the player back to their normal baseline before returning to play.

The key takeaway for me is that young athletes may have deficits in brain function far longer than we would otherwise suspect from our standard office-based exam. More reason to be cautious in return to play after concussion.

Further Reading:
YSI (Oct. 3, 2012) “Crucial Concussion Evaluation Info for Coaches.”
Sports Concussion Library (includes downloadable Pocket Sports Concussion Assessment tool).

(Dr. Dev K. Mishra is the creator of the SidelineSportsDoc.com injury management program for coaches. He is an orthopedic surgeon in private practice in Burlingame, Calif. He is a member of the team physician pool with the U.S. Soccer Federation and has served as team physician at the University of California, Berkeley. This article first appeared on SidelineSportsDoc.com.)



1 comment
  1. Michael Borga
    commented on: February 15, 2013 at 2:20 p.m.
    can someone please clarify the following for me: A group of concussed athletes were followed after girls soccer header concussion and tested at certain intervals. Was it an attempt to say girls that were concussed after attempting heading practice? Or something else entirely?

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Youth Soccer Insider
Is it OK to take pain medicine in order to continue playing?    
Several factors cause athletes of all levels to continue to play through pain: the warrior mentality, ...
California clubs shine at Development Academy playoffs    
FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake-Arizona were the only clubs to qualify for the U.S. Soccer ...
Tips for attending a college ID camp    
With summer being a popular time for young players to attend College ID camps, we've asked ...
Gottschee and FC Dallas take No. 1 seeds into Development Academy playoffs    
FC Dallas and BW Gottschee of Queens, New York, are the No. 1 seeds in the ...
Teen stars sign with MLS clubs    
In the wake of Atlanta United, set to begin MLS play in 2017, signing 15-year-old Andrew ...
How refs deal with trash-talking    
"Look at the scoreboard" and "You got nothing" are two common things that trash-talking players say.
Does American soccer really only work for white kids?    
Les Carpenter's article for the London-based Guardian on American youth soccer is headlined: "'It's only working ...
Changing the Canvas: Finding Inspiration Outside of our Beautiful Game    
My wife is a developmental psychologist. For two decades she has been studying children and the ...
'Toughest World Cup yet' awaits U.S. U-17 girls    
The USA will face Paraguay, Ghana and defending champion Japan in the first round of 2016 ...
John Hackworth: India experience provides valuable lessons for U.S. U-17 boys    
In its third international tournament of the year, the U.S. U-17 boys national team finished runner-up ...
>> Youth Soccer Insider Archives