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Concussion rates and recovery in elite youth ice hockey players
  1. Kathryn J Schneider1,2,3,
  2. Alberto Nettel-Aguirre2,4,
  3. Luz Palacios-Derflingher1,5,
  4. Martin Mrazik6,
  5. Brian L Brooks7,8,9,
  6. Kaikanani Woollings10,
  7. Tracy A Blake1,
  8. Carly?D McKay11,
  9. Constance M Lebrun6,
  10. Karen Barlow12,13,
  11. Kirsten A Taylor1,
  12. Willem H. Meeuwisse1,
  13. Carolyn A. Emery1,14,15
  1. 1Sport Injury Research Prevention Centre, Faculty of Kinesiology 2500 University Drive, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  2. 2Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute for Child & Maternal Health Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  3. 3Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  4. 4Departments of Paediatrics and Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine; Faculty of Kinesiology, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, O’Brien Institute of Public Health, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  5. 5Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
  6. 6Glen Sather Sports Medicine Clinic, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  7. 7Departments of Paediatrics, Clinical Neurosciences, and Psychology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.
  8. 8Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada
  9. 9Neurosciences Program, Alberta Children’s Hospital, Office Shaganappi Trail NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  10. 10Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  11. 11Department for Health, University of Bath, Bath, UK
  12. 12Alberta Children’s Hospital, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  13. 13Pediatrics and Clinical Neuroscience, Cummings School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  14. 14Community Health Sciences, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
  15. 15Pediatrics, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada;

Abstract

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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