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Can A Concussion Lead To An Ankle Sprain Or Knee Injury?

By now, most athletes understand that a concussion leads to changes in brain function. After a concussion an athlete may have symptoms such as headache and light sensitivity. Students may have difficulties with concentration in the classroom.

But what most athletes don’t know about is that a concussion also leads to changes in balance and peripheral vision. It turns out that those associated changes create an increased risk of injuries to the lower extremity, such as knee injuries or ankle sprains. In a recently published analysis, athletes with a concussion were 2x more likely to have a lower extremity injury in the weeks and months after a concussion.

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Can A Concussion Increase Lower Extremity Injury Risk?

Is it possible that a concussion can place an athlete at increased risk of injuries to other areas in the body, such as injuries in the lower extremity? This might not make sense at first, until you consider that a concussion has effects on the athlete’s visual field and balance. Essentially, this means that a concussion could alter the normal visual field and balance, placing the athlete at risk for contact injuries from players or objects out of their field of view, or noncontact injuries due to poor balance and coordination.

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Poor Helmet Fit Increases Concussion Risk In High School Football

High school football players with improperly fitted helmets are at greater risk for more severe concussions, according to this studypublished in the journal Sports Health. During a presentation of the study findings at the 2016 American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons annual meeting, senior study author Joseph Torg M.D. said: “This study suggests that incorrect helmet fit may be one variable that predisposes a football player to sustain a more severe concussion.”  Dr. Torg has been instrumental in developing many of the policies surrounding heads-up tackling techniques at all levels of tackle football.

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Why I Like The King-Devick Concussion Tool

I really like the King Devick rapid number naming testas part of a comprehensive concussion assessment program. We find it to be easy, fast, reliable, and with a large amount of independent scientific studies vouching for its validity. At the high schools I work with we use the King Devick in our preseason concussion baseline assessment and then use it as a part of our comprehensive evaluation for in-game concussions. I’d recommend you consider using it too. (Neither I, nor Sideline Sports Doc have any financial relationship with the company).

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Women At Higher Concussion Risk Than Males

By Dev K. Mishra, M.D. President, Sideline Sports Doc Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Stanford University Key Points: A recently published study confirms suspicions that female athletes are more likely to sustain a concussion than males Average return to play times for males and females was similar, but far longer than typically reported for…

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The Concussion Pill

By Dev K. Mishra, M.D. President, Sideline Sports Doc Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Stanford University Key Points: The symptoms after concussion could potentially be reduced or eliminated if proper treatment is started soon after diagnosis The exact pathways that cause concussion symptoms are not fully known, but there is a lot of ongoing…

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Football Under Assault- But Good News About Heads Up Tackling

By Dev K. Mishra, M.D. President, Sideline Sports Doc Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Stanford University Key Points: A recently published study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed an alarmingly high percentage of brains of deceased football players had findings consistent with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain disorder felt to…

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Kids Are Still Playing The Same Day Of Concussion- Don’t Be That Guy!

By Dev K. Mishra, M.D. President, Sideline Sports Doc Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Stanford University Key Points: More than a third of young athletes treated for concussions at a Texas sports clinic went back into the game after their injury despite safety recommendations Whether the kids were unaware they had a concussion, or…

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Is It Time To Hang Up Your Cleats?

By Dev K. Mishra, M.D. President, Sideline Sports Doc Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Stanford University Key Points: Athletes will occasionally face the very difficult decision to retire from their sport This complicated and emotionally difficult process should be discussed carefully with those close to the athlete, and with others who’ve gone through the…

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Report Concussion Early And Get Back To Play Faster

By Dev K. Mishra, M.D. President, Sideline Sports Doc Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Stanford University Key Points: Many athletes will not report initial concussion symptoms to trainers, coaches, or doctors Continuing to play through a possible concussion risks making the recovery much longer. A recent study shows that young athletes who attempt to…

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