An Analysis of the State of Concussion Management in Professional Soccer

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Abstract

Objective: This prospective cohort analysis of reported concussions in the top European soccer leagues, aims to evaluate the state of concussion management in professional soccer today. Methods: For the 2018-2019 season, a video review was conducted for all athletes who missed a game due to a reported concussion, to determine the mechanism of injury, loss of consciousness, and whether the athlete was substituted off immediately. Results: Defenders were most likely to sustain a concussion with head versus head being the most common mechanism. A loss of consciousness was noted in several athletes and two had concomitant fractures. A majority of concussed players continued playing before being substituted. Conclusions: Recent rule changes aim to protect potentially concussed players, but these are frequently not followed. Clinicians who are aware of the concussion standard of care are in a position to protect athletes on the professional sideline and in the community.