Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Return To Play After Concussion -- The Latest Info
by Dev Mishra, February 14th, 2013 11:48PM

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
Curt Onalfo: L.A. Galaxy builds bridge from youth to first team    
One of the biggest challenges in U.S. player development is providing a highly competitive, professional environment ...
Coaching your own child: Do's and Don'ts    
It's that time of year when men and women across the country embark on the wonderful ...
Matt Pilkington: Encourage Creativity    
Matt Pilkington was recently named U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-17/18 Coach of the Year for the ...
Ed Foster-Simeon leads free-to-play quest    
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the USA hosting the 1994 World Cup, after which ...
Lars Richters: Explain rationale and outline expectations     
Crew Soccer Academy Wolves coach Lars Richters was named U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-15/16 Coach of ...
Shannon MacMillan: A World Champ's View on Coaching Kids     
No college coach asks, "Did you win a State Cup at U-9?" says Shannon MacMillan, the ...
Shaun Tsakiris: 'The team is a family'    
Shaun Tsakiris, coach of Northern California club De Anza Force's U-14 boys team, was named U.S. ...
The most important coaching tool ever...     
I've said various things to the opposing coach during the postgame handshake:
How I Became a Referee -- and Why I'm Glad I did    
When I was 15 years old, one of my soccer coaches, Gordon Barr (son of U.S. ...
Mario Goetze: From 'rascal' to World Cup hero     
The latest edition of our "When They Were Children" series provides a glimpse into the youth ...
>> Youth Soccer Insider Archives