*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on Newswise.
Young athletes are sidelined for at least one month after suffering a concussion, according to a Henry Ford Hospital study that provides new perspective on concussions and brain injuries.
The findings published by Orthopedics, a nationally recognized, peer-reviewed journal for orthopedic surgeons, are from a study conducted between September 2013 and December 2016. The study focused on 357 high school adolescents who sustained one or more concussions by analyzing historical data and then comparing it to more recent findings tied to an increase in reported concussions among young athletes.
The average age of the study’s patients was 15-and-a-half years with nearly 62% being males, the most common sport participated in by these athletes was football, followed by hockey and then soccer. From the study’s participants, 14 % reported suffering from amnesia and 33 % reported a history of concussions.
The research team also found that athletes who have suffered concussions have a higher incidence of non-contact lower extremity injuries due to balance issues after concussions which may have implications on the performance, safety, and well-being of athletes.
“Historically, the literature reported a concussion prevalence of 4-5%, however, recent studies have found that nearly 20% of adolescents have suffered at least one concussion, there’s a huge disparity in terms of reporting over time,” says Dr. Jildeh. Previously, it was thought that young age was a protective factor against concussion and that the neuroplasticity offered fast recovery. However, this thinking has been disproven with more recent studies.
Kelechi Okoroha, M.D., a Henry Ford sports medicine surgeon, and study co-author, points to the findings as a baseline for young athletes with a history of concussions, “Depending on the number of concussions, the 30-day mark gives us a baseline for how much time adolescent athletes required before returning to sport,” he says.