Which on-field signs/symptoms predict protracted recovery from sport-related concussion among high school football players?

Am J Sports Med. 2011 Jun;

39(11):2311-2318.

Lau, B. C., A. P. Kontos, M. W. Collins, A. Mucha and M. R. Lovell.

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Abstract:

BACKGROUND: There has been increasing attention and understanding of sport-related concussions. Recent studies show that neurocognitive testing and symptom clusters may predict protracted recovery in concussed athletes. On-field signs and symptoms have not been examined empirically as possible predictors of protracted recovery. PURPOSE: This study was undertaken to determine which on-field signs and symptoms were predictive of a protracted (>/=21 days) versus rapid (/=21 days, n = 36) recovery time groups. The presence of on-field signs and symptoms was determined at the time of injury by trained sports medicine professionals (i.e., ATC [certified athletic trainer], team physician). A series of odds ratios with chi(2) analyses and subsequent logistic regression were used to determine which on-field signs and symptoms were associated with an increased risk for a protracted recovery. RESULTS: Dizziness at the time of injury was associated with a 6.34 odds ratio (95% confidence interval = 1.34-29.91, chi(2) = 5.44, P = .02) of a protracted recovery from concussion. Surprisingly, the remaining on-field signs and symptoms were not associated with an increased risk of protracted recovery in the current study. CONCLUSION: Assessment of on-field dizziness may help identify high school athletes at risk for a protracted recovery. Such information will improve prognostic information and allow clinicians to manage and treat concussion more effectively in these at-risk athletes.

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