The brain, although encased by cerebrospinal fluid, is said to experience a “concussion” when it is shaken violently due to a blow to the head. Concussions are fairly enigmatic as effects vary from person to person and from instance to instance. Treatment of concussions in the health care field is a current area of interest.
This study aims to compare concussion rates from the 1990’s to present rates, suggest reasons to for the differences in these rates, and help physicians provide appropriate counseling and follow-up guidelines for safe return to play (RTP) time.
Data on concussions was extrapolated from two articles: The Effect of Lace-up Ankle Braces on Injury Rates in High School Basketball Players and The Effect of Lace-up Ankle Braces on Injury Rates in High School Football Players. Data from the latter articles was contrasted with 4 articles from the 1990s. Injury rates are expressed as per 1000 athlete exposure (A-Es).
Results show a trend of increasing participation in high school basketball and football. Concussion incidence rate per 1000 A-Es has increased from 0.11 to 0.21 in boys basketball, 0.16 to 0.35 in girls basketball, 0.59 to 1.04 in football. Of the 166 concussed athletes in the McGuine et al articles, a total of 108 (66.3%) of the concussed athletes received MD Referral: 28 (87.5%) in basketball and 80 (61.1%) in football. 22 (13.5%) of the athletes received ED Referral: 4 (12.5%) in basketball and 18 (13.7%) in football.
This study advocates that medical staff consult all parties when advising on concussion management. RTP can be granted once full physical and cognitive recovery is achieved and medical clearance is granted. RTP must be uniquely assessed for each case since there is no fixed time line for return to play.