Sports Medicine

After Concussions, Athletes Are More Injury-Prone

By Ann Lukits

College athletes were nearly twice as likely to suffer a serious knee, ankle or lower limb injury up to a year after a concussion compared with the previous 12 months, according to a study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Studies have shown that 85% of concussed athletes return to sports within seven days of the head injury, but concussion-related reductions in balance, gait and posture often linger after normal activity levels have resumed, the researchers said. Concussions are a mild form of traumatic brain injury that can cause memory problems, brain damage and death.

Concussion may impair the brain’s ability to coordinate physical movement, the researchers said. Subtle disruptions to brain pathways may increase the interval between reaction and movement time, potentially increasing the risk of subsequent injury, the study suggests.

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