Concussion Recovery May Take Longer Than Previously Thought
Findings from large study of collegiate athletes show 85 percent returning to play at 28 days
WEDNESDAY, Sept. 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- For most collegiate athletes, recovery from sport-related concussion may take up to one month, according to a study published online Aug. 24 in Sports Medicine.
Steven P. Broglio, Ph.D., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues longitudinally followed 34,709 collegiate student-athletes from 30 academic institutions to determine the time (days) from injury until initiation of a return to participation (RTP) protocol and time from injury until medical clearance for unrestricted RTP.
The researchers identified 1,751 concussed athletes (63.2 percent male) participating in 22 different sports, who began the RTP protocol in a median 6.4 days. Longer time to initiate the RTP protocol was seen among those with less frequent postinjury assessments, greater initial postinjury symptom severity, limited contact sport participation, practice/training injuries, and three or more prior concussions. The median total RTP length was 12.8 days, which was shorter with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder medication usage and greater assessment frequency and for male athletes. Longer recovery periods were seen for athletes with greater initial postinjury symptom severity, practice-/training-related injuries, and three or more prior concussions.
"Although median recovery times are consistent with previous guidelines, it was not until one month postinjury that a preponderance of collegiate athletes were cleared to begin the RTP protocol (92 percent) or cleared for unrestricted sport participation (85 percent)," the authors write.