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Concussions

With the onset of warm weather and the spring soccer season, I am bracing for the recurrent questions regarding concussions.  Such is the life of a dad physician cheering from the sidelines. Though it is true that the fast pace, aggressive play, and frequent hard contact of soccer are a set up for this injury, many other mechanisms can be at play.  Most associate concussions with high impact, high velocity incidents; however, even less forceful traumas can be the cause, particularly when sudden and rapid head movement is also associated.  This knowledge is important:  1) we need be vigilant that, though helmets are helpful in reducing fractures and some contact forces upon vital structures, they do not add full protection against shearing forces and resulting injuries; 2) we must be observant with even less forceful injuries, such as an elbow to the head, standing up an hitting your head on a low beam, or a fall even when no obvious impact occurs, to give a...

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