Although all injuries in sports are a concern for participants, head injuries are particularly troublesome because of the potential for long-term cognitive deficits. To prevent any specific injury, it is important to understand the basic frequency and incidence of injury and then the mechanism of injury. Once these are established, prevention programmes can be tested to see if the rate of injury changes. A primary problem with head injuries is recognising that the injury has occurred. Many athletes are not aware of the seriousness of concussive injury, thus this type of injury is probably under-reported. Once the diagnosis of a concussion is made, the next difficult decision is when to return a player to the game. These two management issues dominate the continuing development of understanding of concussive head injury. This paper explores the known gender differences between head injuries and highlights the areas that need to be considered in future research.
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Published Online First 11 May 2007
Competing interests: No author or related institution has received any financial benefit in connection with this study.
Guest editors: Jiri Dvorak, Astrid Junge, Collin Fuller and Paul McCrory