After Concussions, Leg and Foot Injuries Double
Concussions are known to cause lingering changes to a person's balance or gait, and may slow pathways in the brain related to muscular reaction time. Now, researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill have found that in the year after a concussion, athletes are significantly more likely to suffer a foot or leg injury.
Researchers studied 44 college athletes who had suffered from a concussion and 58 similar college athletes who had not. This included men and women from a range of sports. Working with data on injuries incurred in the leg and foot, in the year before and after the concussion, the scientists found that those who had suffered concussions were almost 100 percent more likely to incur one of these injuries within the next year. They were also 64 percent more likely to have a leg or ankle injury than the group that had never experienced a concussion.
The research suggests that post-concussion evaluations may have to be refined to catch changes in athletes who may seem to bounce back quickly.