Professional Rugby Union players have a 60% greater risk of time loss injury after concussion: a 2-season prospective study of clinical outcomes

Matthew Cross, Simon Kemp, Andrew Smith, Grant Trewartha, Keith Stokes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aim To investigate incidence of concussion, clinical outcomes and subsequent injury risk following concussion. Methods In a two-season (2012/2013, 2013/2014) prospective cohort study, incidence of diagnosed match concussions (injuries/1000 h), median time interval to subsequent injury of any type (survival time) and time spent at each stage of the graduated return to play pathway were determined in 810 professional Rugby Union players (1176 player seasons). Results Match concussion incidence was 8.9/1000 h with over 50% occurring in the tackle. Subsequent incidence of any injury for players who returned to play in the same season following a diagnosed concussion (122/1000 h, 95% CI 106 to 141) was 60% higher (IRR 1.6, 95% CI 1.4 to 1.8) than for those who did not sustain a concussion (76/1000 h, 95% CI 72 to 80). Median time to next injury following return to play was shorter following concussion (53 days, 95% CI 41 to 64) than following non-concussive injuries (114 days, 95% CI 85 to 143). 38% of players reported recurrence of symptoms or failed to match their baseline neurocognitive test during the graduated return to play protocol. Summary and conclusions Players who returned to play in the same season after a diagnosed concussion had a 60% greater risk of time-loss injury than players without concussion. A substantial proportion of players reported recurrence of symptoms or failed to match baseline neurocognitive test scores during graduated return to play. These data pave the way for trials of more conservative and comprehensive graduated return to play protocols, with a greater focus on active rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)926-931
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume50
Issue number15
Early online date1 Dec 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Professional Rugby Union players have a 60% greater risk of time loss injury after concussion: a 2-season prospective study of clinical outcomes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Profiles

    No photo of Keith Stokes

    Keith Stokes

    Person: Research & Teaching

    Cite this