Objective To examine rates of concussion and severe concussion (time loss greater than 10 days) in elite youth ice hockey players.
Design Prospective cohort study
Setting Alberta, Canada
Participants Bantam (13–14 years) and Midget (15–17 years) male and female elite (top 30% by division of play) youth ice hockey players.
Assessment of risk factors Participants completed a demographic and medical history questionnaire and clinical test battery at the beginning of the season. A previously validated injury surveillance system was used to document exposure hours and injury during one season of play (8 months).
Outcome measures Players with a suspected ice hockey-related concussion were referred to the study sport medicine physicians for assessment. Time loss from hockey participation was documented on an injury report form.
Main results Overall, 778 elite youth ice hockey players (659 males, 119 females; aged 13–17 years) participated in this study. In total, 143 concussions occurred. The concussion incidence proportion (IP) was 18 concussions/100 players. The concussion incidence rate (IR) was 1.31 concussions/1000 player-hours (95% CI; 1.09, 1.57). Time loss greater than 10 days was reported in 74% of cases (106/143) and 20% (n=28) had time loss of greater than 30 days.
Conclusions Concussion is a common injury in elite youth ice hockey players. In this study population, a large proportion of concussions (74%) resulted in a time loss of greater than 10 days, possibly reflecting more conservative management or longer recovery in youth athletes.
Competing interests None.
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