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Presenting symptoms and recovery time among youth athletes with and without a history of concussion
  1. Kelly Russell1,2,3,
  2. Cameron Krisko4,
  3. Michael Ellis2,3,5
  1. 1Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba, Canada
  2. 2Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitobam, Canada
  3. 3Canada North Concussion Network, Canada
  4. 4Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Canada
  5. 5Departments of Surgery and Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba, Canada


Objective Determine if youth athletes with a history of concussion had more symptoms, higher symptom score, longer recovery, or were more likely to be diagnosed with Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS) than those with no history of concussion.

Design Retrospective chart review.

Setting Paediatric, multi-disciplinary concussion.

Participants 306 youth (mean 14.0 years, SD 2.3; 65.5% male) with an acute sport-related concussion.

Intervention (or assessment of risk factors) Self-reported concussion history.

Outcome measures Recovery days were days between concussion and medical clearance by the neurosurgeon. Medical clearance occurred after tolerating full-time school, completing return-to-play protocol, and absence of vestibulo-ocular dysfunction. Initial symptoms were reported on the Post Concussion Symptom Severity score (PCSS); symptom severity was the total PCSS score. The neurosurgeon diagnosed Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS) using ICD-10 criteria of symptoms for at least 30 days.

Main results Median number of initial symptoms was 5.5 (IQR: 1–10) for youth with no concussion history and 7.0 (IQR: 2–14) with a concussion history (p=0.04). Initial median PCSS score was 9 (IQR: 1–22) for youth with no concussion history and 13 (IQR: 3–34) with a concussion history (p=0.03). Median recovery days was 22 (IQR: 15–43) for those with no concussion history compared to 23 (IQR: 16–39) with a concussion history (p=0.41). There was no significant difference in subsequently being diagnosed with PCS (no concussion history: 40.1%, ?concussion history: 41.7%, p=0.73).

Conclusions Despite a significantly higher initial symptom burden among those with a concussion history, there was no increased risk of protracted recovery or subsequent diagnosis of PCS.

Competing interests None.

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