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Chance of Leg/Foot Injuries Increasing After Concussion

Erin King1 year ago

Recent studies conducted by the medical community have come across a surprising statistic: in the year after a college athlete has experienced a concussion, he or she is more likely to suffer from a serious lower body injury as compared to before he or she sustained the concussion.

Overview of the Study

In a study conducted by Robert C. Lynall, lead author and professor in the exercise and sports science department at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, researchers discovered increased rates of musculoskeletal injuries in athletes who had suffered from a concussion prior to the injury. 

While the study does not reveal the exact cause of the increase in the type of injuries, researchers believe that concussions can lead to changes in balance and delayed muscular reaction, which in term can contribute to other muscular injuries down the line.

According to FOX News, researchers studied approximately 44 Division I college athletes who had sustained concussions prior to the study and compared them to about 58 other similar college athletes who had not recently sustained concussions or head injuries prior to the study; both groups contained both male and female athletes from sorted genres of sports. 

Researchers recorded data in relation to lower body extremity injuries, like sprained ankles and muscle strains, and what they discovered was shocking: the group who had sustained concussions in their lifetimes were nearly 100-percent more likely to suffer an injury of the sort a year before and after sustaining a concussion or head injury.

Study Challenges Previous Analyses

According to Professor Lynall, some lower-level studies have yielded results claiming that the balance of an individual who has recently sustained a concussion or head injury returns to normalcy after just after five days.  However, Lynall reveals some advanced studies have discovered that in some individuals, balance problems could linger well beyond the individual’s return to play.

Lynall and other individuals involved in similar studies believe that current balance assessments that are conducted during post-concussion/head injury evaluations are not specific enough in unearthing changes in balance, etc. in the individual being tested; they believe making changes to these assessments will be a step in the right direction in ameliorating the situation.

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