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Effects of acute concussion on centre of pressure variables during quiet stance
  1. Jill K Dierijck1,
  2. Alexander D Wright1,2,3,4,
  3. Bryk Kelsey1,
  4. Jonathan D Smirl1,
  5. Paul van Donkelaar1
  1. 1School of Health and Exercise Sciences, University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, Canada
  2. 2MD/PhD Program, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
  3. 3Southern Medical Program, University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, Canada
  4. 4Department of Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada


Objective To examine how acute sport-related concussion influences centre of pressure (COP) sway during quiet stance

Design Prospective cohort

Setting Laboratory

Participants Eighty-seven male contact-sport (football and hockey) athletes entered the study. Seven subjects (age range 17–22) were concussed and completed follow-up testing 72-hours, two-weeks, and one-month following the injury.

Intervention One-minute eyes-open and eyes-closed quiet stance trials were performed on a force plate (NDI True Impluse) with feet hip-width apart. Force plate data and SCAT3 were collected at each time point.

Outcome measures Root-mean-square COP displacement (RMSd) and mean COP velocity were quantified in the anterior/posterior (AP) and medial/lateral (ML) directions. Independent variables included condition (2) and time (4)

Main results RM-ANOVA indicated a main effect of time for all outcomes: AP-RMSd (p=0.006), AP mean velocity (p=0.012), ML-RMSd (p=0.001), ML mean velocity (p=0.001). Pairwise comparisons indicated reductions at 2-weeks in AP-RMSd (0.05, 95% CI: −0.672, 0.000), and AP mean velocity (p=0.039, 95% CI: −1.275, −0.036). ML-RMSd was reduced 1 month post-concussion (p=0.021, 95% CI: −0.365, −0.034). Change scores from baseline to 72-hours were correclated between: AP-RMSd and Balance Error Scoring System (r=0.878, p=0.009), AP mean velocity and Standardised Assessment of Concussion (SAC) (r=−0.822, p=0.023), and ML mean velocity and SAC (r=−0.836, p=0.019).

Conclusions Measures of COP sway during quiet stance revealed alterations in displacement and velocity that persisted up to one-month following a sports-related concussion. These COP alterations exceeded the duration of clinical recovery (median return-to-play: 14 days) indicating that clinical recovery does not equal physiological recovery.

Competing interests None.

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