Injuries are an inevitable part of sports, where concussions have been well documented having a relatively low rate of incidence. In terms of player incidence, 10% of high school athletes on average risk concussion in collision and contact sports, while 15%-20% of football players risk being concussed. As with many types of athletic injuries, most athletes recover from concussion injuries within a relatively short period of time, usually within a 2-3 week period and sometimes longer.
By definition, a concussion is:
- A clinical syndrome characterized by immediate and transient post-traumatic impairment of neural functions.
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- Traumatically induced alteration in neural status, with or without Loss of Consciousness (LOC).
- A complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain, induced by traumatic biomechanical forces (McCrory et al, 2008). Certain aspects inherent to concussions include:
- Result from a direct blow to the head region; impulsive force transmitted to the head.
- Has rapid onset of short-lived neurological impairment that resolves spontaneously.
- Acutely, symptoms largely reflect a functional disturbance, rather than structural injury.
- Symptoms may or may not involve LOC, where resolution follows a sequential course, where some of which may be prolonged.
- Typically lack abnormality in standard structural neuro-imaging studies.
Underlying Problems Injury Epidemiology Assessment and Management
Signs and Symptoms Return to Play Post-Concussion Syndrome